Wii games

[Review] Titanic Mystery aka 1912 Titanic Mystery (Nintendo Wii)

Onward on another adventure reviewing Titanic-themed games. I have reviewed three so far, and show no signs of stopping. Tired yet? No? Then, ALL ABOARD!

I have forever been searching for half-decent hidden object games for the Nintendo Wii…and ever since I found Mystery Case Files: Malgrave Incident, a great game on the Wii, I held out hope. The game, Titanic Mystery continued to come up in my hidden object searches for the Wii, but it has also been difficult to find around these parts. Funny too, another game called 1912 Titanic Mystery also came up in my search…but impossible to get as it appeared to be only available in Europe.

As you can surmise from the title of this blog post, these games are one and the same. Don’t ask me why, but the packaging for North America calls this game Titanic Mystery, yet the game itself on-screen is called 1912 Titanic Mystery. At any rate, I managed to find a copy at an EB Games, and asked my sweet hubs to bring a Wii upstairs to the living room where I game so I could review this for y’all. What a guy!

A replica of the original Titanic has been built and is set to sail on the anniversary of the sinking of the 1912 Titanic. All of the ancestors from the original voyage are invited to board and experience Titanic II’s maiden voyage across the Atlantic. The media are out in full-swing and everyone is excited to participate… Everyone except for a terrorist who has communicated with you that they have planted a bomb somewhere on-board, and you must find out who has!

Throughout the game you get a bit of a history lesson on the Titanic. You are made to search for missing pages from a diary authored by a young woman who was on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. You get to know some of the characters on the ship – a tad stereotypical in nature, that can somewhat be akin to a poor man’s Love Boat, complete with an Isaac knock-off. The person responsible for planting the bomb keeps dropping notes to you around the ship, and fascinatingly, all the characters seem to know the notes are for you!

Seriously, I am making this plot line more exciting than this game actually is. In truth, the gameplay of 1912 Titanic Mystery is quite dull and repetitive. Hidden object scenes force players to search for the same object over and over. The same mini games are also provided, such as “unscramble the image,” or “find all the birds in this scene.” Yawn.

This game is visual all the way, and unfortunately, the images were super blurry on the Wii version. The Wiimote allows you to zoom into a scene to get a better look, but honestly, in most cases, all you see are blurred images. The hidden object scenes, in particular, give you a headache.

This scene above is pretty much the resolution I got. Now, imagine zooming in on it… 

Let’s also address the fact that the Wii can be glitchy at the best of times if you don’t have your Wiimote and sensor bar configured properly.  When I first started the game, I ran into this issue – my bad. But, once I fixed everything, I would still experience issues with trying to select things on-screen. I am not sure if this was me, the Wii, or the game itself.  Like most of the other Titanic games I have played so far, 1912 Titanic Mystery also has a PC version. Mind you, I don’t know which came first – the Wii version or the PC version – but I’ll put money on the PC version being much better visually and the gameplay being more comfortable.

Thankfully, unlike Murder on the Titanic for the Nintendo 3DS, you are able to skip puzzles in 1912 Titanic Mystery, but the game weirdly penalizes you 10 minutes…odd since the game has never given you a timer anywhere in its gameplay, so I am not sure where this would have any impact except perhaps on achievements, which I never received. Lastly, I might have been rewarded with a decent ending had I finished this. I just…couldn’t do it. The graphics were way too blurry, and because of the repetitive gameplay and glitchy mechanics, I decided to move on.

Maybe the PC version is better?

1.5/5

1912 Titanic Mystery
JoinDots / O-Games
2009

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What I Played: Fave Games in 2013

This list encompasses my favourite games that I played in 2013. You will notice some of them were not released in 2013. Really, if you check out my complete list, I didn’t play too many newly released last year.

CAUGHT ME GAMING’S FAVE GAMES IN 2013!!

10. The Room (Android)


This one is a really good puzzle game for Android where you are put into a virtual locked room and given a box to play with. This box has all sorts of secret compartments you have to figure out how to get opened. Plays really well on tablet.

9. Gone Home (PC)

Get ready to snoop! Go into the Greenbriar’s empty home and find out where everyone went! An exploration game that should not be missed.

8. Mystery Case Files: Malgrave Incident (Wii)

Hands down, the best hidden object game for the Wii that I have played.

7. Nike+ Kinect Training (Xbox 360)


Okay, not technically a game. But this is a really well-done fitness tool that helped me to lose weight.

6. The Walking Dead Game (Xbox 360)

Zombies!!

5. Syberia (PC)

An older adventure game that still stands the test of time.

4. Secrets of the Dark: Temple of Night (PC)

I have played through this game at least twice, and often find myself humming the soundtrack in my head. I highly recommend this hidden object game to EVERYONE!

3. Borderlands (PC)


The Hubs and I played this together for about four months. Sorry, no review, but it was one of the most intense, fun and challenging games I have ever played. Forced me to step up my GAME, fo’ sho…[sorry, no review]

2. Borderlands 2 (PC)

The sequel to Borderlands is a continuation of the same, pretty much. The hubs and I are still playing this game, and it continues to challenge me. It’s a whole lotta fun! [sorry, no review]

1. Alan Wake (PC)

I know I rave about Alan Wake, but, seriously – I went into this game totally alone, without my husband’s gaming safety net to help me along. It scared the crap outta me, but I learned some good gaming skills: aim-and-shoot skills, switching to the appropriate weapon for the appropriate fight, dodging enemies, and how to read an in-game map the right way.  Even though it was a rather dark game, it was breathtakingly beautiful (the forest! the trees!! Pining for the fjords!)! I was also going through some things last winter and Alan Wake gave me the distraction and  “concentration on something else” that I very much needed.

I attribute Alan Wake to a lot of things, and I will never forget the experience. That is why Alan Wake is NUMBER ONE!!

There you have it. Next up, the Worst games played in 2013!

[Review] Blades of Vengeance (Sega) – the Shattered Hope of a Broken Game

You begin to play a game you’ve never heard of before. While playing you die trying to get past a certain point, and you figure it’s because you’re not familiar with it. You try again – maybe this time you’ll get through it. You die again. You do this 20 more times. You cannot get past that point. You chalk it up to being a n00b gamer.

Then, someone with more gaming experience comes in and gets stuck at the exact same place. They say, “the game is broken.” They then stoically throw down their controller and walk away, forever ending their time with the game. This was my experience with Blades of Vengeance, a Sega game I played on my Wii emulator.

I had never heard of a game being called “broken” where in playing it, you are not able to advance no matter how hard you tried. But, that is a great name for it. And really, Blades of Vengeance encompasses it.

The game is a platformer where you are tasked with saving the world from a war-lord. In the game, you have the choice of playing three characters: a warrior woman with a sword, a Conan Barbarian-type with an axe, or a sorcerer with a staff. Your goal is to kill everything in your path without getting yourself killed jumping off ledges into fire pits, getting hit with sharp objects or getting attacked by zombie-looking characters.

The game itself held promise for me at the start. The first level had some fun gameplay…that is until I reached a part where a ledge moved over a fiery river of lava. While travelling over, obstacles would appear that you would have to jump over while on this teeny tiny moving platform – but you’d better move fast, or you fall into the lava lake with no chance of escaping death. No action nor weapon will save your hide. You are toast. And the lamest: if you jump off the moving platform onto a solid ledge, better have a death wish ’cause the platform keeps moving away from you never to return. You are stuck! Nowhere to go but jump into the river Stix (or is that ‘Stux’?). Lame!

You think that tiny ledge can fit two people? Think again!

The game accommodates two-player capability as well. But, don’t expect that to help you through this messy game. Instead of trying to fit your sorry self on this tiny platform, you have to fit two people, which does not work. One ends up taking a bath in the hot lava…and dying, while you, on the platform, also eventually fall and die because of the existing problems I outlined above. The game is BROKEN, people!

When I asked my gamer husband if he had ever heard of Blades of Vengeance, he said no. Then when he played it and pronounced the game broken, he then walked away, saying, “I can see why I’ve never heard of this…” Bad games have a way of resurrecting from the dead as good examples of what to avoid. Broken games, however, seem to either fade into the sunset, or in the case of Blades of Vengeance, jump into the fiery drink to evaporate forever. Sometimes that ain’t a bad thing.

Blades of Vengeance
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released:  1993

[Review] Endless Ocean (Wii) – “Calm Blue Ocean” in a Video Game

It’s been three years since the hubs and I took a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. What a fantastic time we had. The beach was wonderful and where we spent most of our time. But one activity we took advantage of was to go on a snorkelling excursion. It cost a bit to do, but I loved swimming around looking at the coral and exotic fish. The game, Endless Ocean for the Wii, brought me back to that time. The game, if you could call it that, is completely devoid of stress, thrills and party-times. Instead, it’s like the yoga of video games…and sometimes, my friends, we need a little relaxation with our games.

In Endless Ocean, you are a hired scuba diver who lives on a boat with Katherine Sunday, a hip marine biologist who can’t swim. You are given the task of exploring the Manaurai Sea, checking out the marine life, befriending and training a dolphin, feeding schools of fish and finding treasure. It’s quite relaxing with no fixed timeline and no penalty. You are given small jobs to do, but once you are finished your job, you are permitted to explore the deep until you get tired or run out of oxygen.

For a game released in 2007, I have to say Endless Ocean plays great and looks wonderful. Moving from one scene to the next is seamless, and the controls are easy to use. I actually found myself enjoying checking out the different fish, and marvelled how not cheesy this game is.

I haven’t finished Endless Ocean, and I don’t think I will…at least not for a while. I am taking my sweet time with this one. This game is so relaxing and fun, I think I’ll stretch it out a little bit so the gameplay is…well…endless!

Endless Ocean (Wii)
Developer: Arika / Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 2007

Credit: theseamonster.net / Nintendo

[Review] The Amazing Race Game (Wii) Is Not Amazing, Nor a Race. Discuss.

I picked up the Amazing Race game for the Wii at EB Games for $9.99. Man, I feel robbed.

I didn’t read the back of the game thoroughly – I thought I’d be playing this game solo, but turns out this game is meant for two to four players. No problem! I’ll just play the game with the hubs! That should be fun, right? The game is also from Ludia, the developers that brought you the Where’s Waldo franchise for the iPod and PC. Loved that game! This should be good! And this game is hosted by Phil Keoghan – that same dude that hosts the Amazing Race on TV. I love Phil!

But, all the love went out the window when we loaded the game. From the get-go, the Amazing Race theme starts up with montages of couples who are “racing” with you – just like the beginning of the Amazing Race TV show. The couples were animated of course, and in some instances very poorly; we weren’t sure if some of the guys were girls, or the girls were guys. It was cheesy, but figured maybe it was supposed to be…?

The Amazing Race game is like the TV show where you are buddied up, competing in a race around the world; the goal being to be first at various checkpoints. The last team to get to the checkpoint is out of the race. Along the way you are made to play mini games. The games, frankly, sucked, and their instructions were very poorly written and hard to interpret. There were two of us that went to college, and both of us couldn’t figure some of the instructions out. Even then, we just began to play the games to see if we did better, and for the most part we did. But you couldn’t deny the games sucked. In one game, you are throwing tomatoes at people. You aim on a target and use the Wii-mote to throw a virtual tomato at them. The mechanics of this game didn’t exactly work too well – sometimes you couldn’t lock on to your target, or the target just disappears. I mean, Nintendo got this right in their Wii Sports franchise. Couldn’t the Ludia people pay the Nintendo people a nice meal and cocktails to get their secrets to the “throw at the target” game?

And don’t expect this game to be fast-paced. In one instance, the screen shows your team and a competitor fly through the air between two points, and that’s it… for a minute…. and nothing else happens!

Now, imagine staring at this for over a minute. Two white torpedoes flying through the air. Fun!

The game has you and your partner play together, but the hubs and I weren’t sure why. Often, one of us was left to sit there watching while the other did everything. In fact, I’d hazard that a second player really wasn’t needed at all. You were also able to play with four people, but after playing the two-player, I couldn’t possibly subject two more of my friends to this tripe.

The game was from 2010, which was not that long ago! It looked terrible, and played worse. I seriously think Ludia was taking the piss with this game – or totally shitting on a half decent TV show, I’m not sure which…

The Amazing Race (Wii)
Developer: Ludia / Publisher: Ubisoft
Released: 2010

Credits: Walmart

[Review] Mystery Case Files: Malgrave Incident (Wii)

I have always associated the Wii with fun casual games like Wii Sports and Boom Blox, so a hidden object game for the system wouldn’t be that far fetched. In comes Mystery Case Files: Malgrave Incident, a full-on hidden object adventure game for the Wii! I am no stranger to the Mystery Case Files series, having played Dire Grove, Ravenhurst, 13th Skull, among others on the PC. Let me tell you, I was not the least bit disappointed in Malgrave Incident; it was fun, well-made and addictive. I just couldn’t stop playing it.

51rVrnknZlLIn the game you are hired as a detective by Winston Malgrave – a rich fosselized inventor who has called you to his island to help save the life of his wife Sarah. His island apparently has a magic dust that restores youth and cures all illnesses, but it is currently in short supply, so Malgrave wants you to investigate his island and find as much of the stuff as you can. But, upon arriving on the island, you discover things are amiss, run-down and deserted, which adds to the mystery behind Malgrave’s request: What is this dust? Who is this Malgrave?

Malgrave Incident was a great story with a very fun gameplay. The five-chaptered story takes you to different locales through the island that are easy to navigate, thanks to an interactive map, which allows you to move between scenes easily instead of manually moving from one scene to the next. The game is full of complex, multi-layered hidden object games. The Wii-mote allowed you to zoom into HOG scenes nice and close which was great for those with bad eyesight (you lookin’ at me??). There are also other puzzles you need to solve in order to unlock a door or to release the magic dust into the several dust collecting machines Malgrave has you use at the end of every chapter. The game’s graphics, animations and music were very well-done. No cheese here!

A couple of disappointing aspects though: some of the hidden object scenes are re-used, which isn’t a problem in and of itself; but, the second last hidden object scene had me search for the very same items I had searched for previously. That is just laziness on the part of the game developers! And one more thing: If you give me a puzzle, I expect a brief instruction on what I am supposed to do. Every puzzle presented to me had no instructions, and some were vague, which resulted in my consulting a walkthrough just to get a clue!

Overall, I would highly recommend Mystery Case Files: Malgrave Incident. It’s a great game with excellent replay value. And, you can play multi-player, which adds to the Wii’s appeal. Pick up a copy and add it to your collection!

Mystery Case Files: Malgrave Incident
Developer: Big Fish Games / Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 2011

[Review] Where’s Waldo (iOS/PC/Nintendo DS): The Fantastic Journey For a Myopic Gamer

I wear glasses, and have since a was a teenager. Gaming never used to be a big issue for my sight because most of what I played was on a 19 inch TV screen. But when I got my iPod Touch for Christmas in 2010 and wanted to play games on it, my eyesight did become a bit of a concern.

Enter theWhere’s Waldo:The Fantastic Journeygame for the iPhone. A fun little game that is indeed a challenge for the visually impaired. Thankfully, this game is available on the Nintendo DS and PC so I was able to try the game on different gaming platforms to see what I was doing, and have a better gaming experience.

waldo

Waldo and his entourage

The premise of the Where’s Waldo game is simple: You are introduced to Waldo and his entourage early on. You have Waldo, a wandering traveler who wears a red and white striped sweater and tuque, his friend Wenda, his mentor Wizard Whitebeard, and Woof the dog. The game sends you to different worlds full of crowds of people and interesting places. In the game, the places are animated – trees and rivers move, people are fighting and running, and magic carpets are flying. You are tasked with finding Waldo and his people within these busy worlds, along with other objects within the scenes. Every once in a while, Waldo’s bizarro arch-enemy-with-porn ‘stach Odlaw (catch that? “Waldo” spelled backwards…) comes by to wreck havoc and challenge you. The search sequences on the game are timed, so as you search, you need to keep your eyes on the clock. Woof the dog hides little bones in the scene for you to stumble upon which are meant to be used as hint tokens; for every bone you use, Woof gives you a hint of where a particular item or person would be.

Each gaming platform Where’s Waldo: The Fantastic Journey is available on provides the player with a different way to experience the game. The Waldo story is similar for each gaming platform, but each platform in itself provides a different feel in terms of gameplay. The iPod Touch’s controls with this game were weird – I had to rely solely on a touch screen. And not that my fingers are fat, but often the iTouch wouldn’t zoom into the area I wanted to search, and when it did, the image was blurry. At times it didn’t sense I was touching a particular found product which was particularly frustrating. Frankly, the problems I had might have had a lot to do with my 3rd gen iPod Touch, and less to do with the actual game. But one thing is for sure – you need to see with this game. There is a lot happening in your search area – some objects that you need to find are complex and tiny, so having the ability to see is very important. I managed to finish the game on the iPod Touch and even moved on to the game’s sequel, Where’s Waldo in Hollywoodalthough eyesight problems still persisted, and I often had to stop playing because I would get a headache.

Shortly after finishing the iPod Touch version, I played the PC and Nintendo DS versions, and they wound up being much better alternatives for my eyesight. The Nintendo DS version for example, utilized both screens – the top screen would be the zoomed-out area that you had to search, and the bottom screen was an extreme closeup of the zoomed out area, which was great! I could see the details, which really helped with my enjoyment of the game! On top of which, I had a Nintendo DS XL, which is bigger in screen size than the regular DS. The PC version was also helpful visually, as you were only limited to the size of your monitor.  After trying them both, I have to say I preferred to play Waldo on the Nintendo DS XL for its large screen and portability. If you like complex “find me” games, I highly recommend Where’s Waldo: The Fantastic Journey on the Nintendo DS.

Where’s Waldo: The Fantastic Journey
Developer: Ludia / Publisher: Ubisoft
Released: September 2009

Photo credit: Wikipedia / Youtube whereswaldo