recommendation

Dead Island

Dead IslandDead Island
Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Game Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release date: September 6, 2011
Official website: www.deadislandgame.com


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Dead Island review summary:
Dead Island‘s disaster-like tone and daylight setting are unique in the world of zombie video games. The scarcity of firearms and primarily melee based gameplay forces players to get up close and personal with some of the most powerful zombies ever created in a game. A weapon crafting system and RPG leveling system makes players more effective fighters over the course of the 30+ hour campaign, but players never become super powerful. The first-person perspective is limiting in some situations, especially when driving a vehicle, but small details make the overall experience more immersive than other games on the market. A frustrating respawn system does make areas of the game more difficult than they should be but a group of players working together through the main campaign will find one of the most rewarding cooperative experiences available on consoles this year.

Read the full review here.

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Memorex Game Controller Plus for Wii

When you think of Memorex, media storage products may come to mind first. But Memorex now offers an alternative and broad range of gaming peripherals. Memorex’s line of gaming products include charging accessories, PS3 Motion Gaming Controllers, and more (see here). For this product review, Memorex provided a sampling of the Memorex Game Controller Plus for the Nintendo Wii. There aren’t many alternatives to Nintendo’s Wii RemotePlus, so I was curious to see how this controller stacked up.

Game Controller Plus for Nintendo Wii from MemorexOut of the box, the Game Controller Plus includes an attached adjustable wrist strap (which can be removed if desired). The Memorex Game Controller Plus is just about identical in form to Nintendo’s Wii Remote. One of the obvious features that distinguish the Game Controller Plus is a circle pad in place of the D-pad on Nintendo’s Wii Remote controller. And of course, all those additional fancy blue LED lights which surround the circle pad and speaker as well as the player number indicator light. The lights are a nice cosmetic touch and provide a sleek contrast.

Game Controller Plus for Nintendo Wii from MemorexWhen holding the Game Controller Plus, the first thing that struck me with an “ahh” was the concave and slightly larger “A” button. The feel of the A button on the Game Controller Plus feels much better than the A button on the Wii Remote. It’s a definite improvement over the Wii Remote. The +, -, 1 and 2 buttons also protrude out a bit more. Also, the 1 and 2 buttons have a slightly larger scale, making for a bit better use if the 1 and 2 on Nintendo’s Wii Remote are too small for you. The B trigger button is just about the same size. The circle pad controller did work out as a replacement to the D-pad, but the tried and true D-pad on Nintendo’s Wii Remote did have a bit more snappy feedback.

Game Controller Plus for Nintendo Wii from MemorexWhat you don’t see from the exterior, but is noted on the right side of the Game Controller Plus, is the “Controller Plus” feature. Yes, that means this controller supports Wii MotionPlus compatible games with the built-in MotionPlus feature. I gave it a test on a few of the games in Wii Sports Resort and it worked out great. In comparison to my current bulky Wii MotionPlus add-ons, it is a welcome bonus. Nintendo’s latest Wii Remote Plus offers the same form factor, but older Nintendo Wii Remotes will need the bulkier MotionPlus add-on. The internal speaker on the Game Controller Plus seemed just as loud as Nintendo’s Wii Remote speaker. Rumble in the Game Controller Plus also provides just as much feedback as the Nintendo Wii Remote.

Game Controller Plus for Nintendo Wii from MemorexMemorex has gone with a nearly identical form factor to the Wii Remote and Wii RemotePlus with good reason: to support all the crazy amount of Wii peripherals. I gave the Game Controller Plus a test on two Wii gun controllers, to which it fit just as snug as the Wii Remote and Wii Remote Plus. The Game Controller Plus also worked well with Nintendo’s Wii Nunchuk controller. Memorex offers an alternate Wireless Sidekick Gaming Controller if you want a better match. The battery compartments in the Game Controller Plus are the same as the Wii Remote, which means you can use standard Wii Remote rechargeable battery packs. I was able to use a couple rechargeable batteries that I had without a problem.

Game Controller Plus for Nintendo Wii from MemorexThe Memorex Game Controller Plus offers a very nice alternative to the standard Nintendo Wii RemotePlus, at a lower price. The Game Controller Plus is available in three different colors (Black, Blue and Pink) and has a retail price of $29.99 (or $24.99 here online), about $10 less than the MSRP of the Nintendo Wii Remote Plus. It just about felt the same as Nintendo’s first-party controller. Improvements beyond the additional cool blue LED lights are the larger “A”, “1″ and “2″ buttons. The circle pad versus Nintendo’s D-pad depends on the player preference, although Nintendo gamers are long familiar with Nintendo’s distinctive design. Memorex dives into the game controller market with a persuasive alternative that I recommend as part of your Wii Remote controller collection. I am definitely curious to see how Memorex’s Motion Gaming Controller for PS3 compares to the PlayStation Move controller based on this positive experience with the Game Controller Plus.

See various pictures comparing the Memorex Game Controller Plus to Nintendo’s Wii Remote below, or here in fullscreen. The pictures will give you a more detailed comparison of what you can expect from Memorex’s Game Controller Plus versus Nintendo’s Wii Remote.

For more details on Memorex’s gaming products, see www.memorex.com.



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Thanks to Memorex for making this review possible!

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the MoonTransformers: Dark of the Moon
Available for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS
(reviewed on Xbox 360)
Game Developer: High Moon Studios
Publisher: Activision
Release date: June 14, 2011
Official website: www.transformersgame.com


Game rating: 3.75 out of 5

Review summary:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the best of the recent Transformers movie to game licenses. Transformers are large in scale and nicely detailed. The game’s environments are varied and the action never gets too dull. The downside is the short duration of the campaign and very little bonus content. Most of the Transformers games have at least offered a nice selection of bonus content, something sorely missing from Transformers: Dark of the Moon. There aren’t any annoying human characters that get in the way of this game’s prequel setup to the Transformers: Dark of the Moon film. Overall, Transformers fans will enjoy it, but don’t go in with the same expectations of the gritty and memorable War for Cybertron game.

Read the full review here.

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Dungeons & Dragon Daggerdale (XBLA)

Dungeons & Dragon Daggerdale (XBLA)Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale
Available for: Xbox 360 (XBLA), PC, PSN
Game Developer: Bedlam Games
Game Publisher: Atari
Release Date: May 25, 2011
Official website: www.atari.com/daggerdale

Game rating:

3.5 out of 5 stars

Review summary:
Players who enjoy third-person hack-and-slash fantasy action may enjoy what Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale has to offer. There is deep character customization and plenty of stats to grind. At times, there is some gameplay grinding that feels like filler. Some quests are made mundane by the often dark and generic environments. The game isn’t without its share of glitches, with several particularly glaring ones. Playing co-op makes the experience a bit more fun. Overall, Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale offers a decent diversion for the action-RPG hungry, but doesn’t revive the Dungeons & Dragons game franchise as hoped.

Read the full review below.

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Plants vs. Zombies (Nintendo DS)

Plants vs. Zombies (Nintendo DS)Plants vs. Zombies
for Nintendo DS
Game Developer: PopCap Games
Game Publisher: PopCap Games
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Official website: www.popcap.com

Review Summary:
PopCap Games delivers a faithful Nintendo DS translation of the incredibly addictive Plants vs. Zombies strategy game. Because of the limitations of the DS display resolution and audio, Plants vs. Zombies on the DS has noticeably compromised its audio and visuals. PopCap Games has obviously opted to bring as close a Plants vs. Zombies gameplay experience as on other platforms instead of creating a version crafted to take advantage of the DS capabilities such as dual screens. Still, under those limitations, Plants vs. Zombies is addictive, plays snappy with touch screen controls and offers plenty of bonus extras, versus gameplay and achievements. Seasoned planters may want to wait for the DSiWare release for the Nintendo DS exclusive content. Hungry and faithful followers or new players to Plants vs. Zombies will have plenty of meat to chew on.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Read the full review here.

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