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Video Game Review: Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, Nintendo Wii.

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Game Review by Evan B. from Schlafly

Kirbys_return_to_dreamland_boxartTitle: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land on Nintendo Wii

Publisher: Nintendo

Review: This is Kirby’s first home console game since Epic Yarn. In Return to Dream Land, you start off on planet Pop Star, where Kirby is running from King Dedede and Waddle Dee, while holding a large piece of cake in his hands. Meanwhile, Meta Knight is reading a book under a tree. Suddenly, a spaceship emerges from the sky, and crashes in a nearby field. Kirby and his friends investigate the crash site for survivors. They find Magolor, the owner of the crashed starship (also known as “Lor Starcutter). Magolor explains that all the pieces of his ship are scatted across Pop Star. Kirby and friends offer to help search for the missing pieces.

Gameplay works similar to the adventure mode in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (minus Kirby’s fighting styles). Like Kirby’s other games, the combat is based on inhaling enemies and using their abilities to fight other enemies. Also, there are 4 playable characters (like the Mario Bros. games). The first player is always Kirby, while the other three characters are King Dedede, Waddle Dee , and Meta Knight. Meta Knight can fly faster compared to the rest of the other players. King Dedede is the slowest among all the players, but uses a big hammer. Waddle Dee uses a spear and runs as fast as Kirby.

This is Kirby’s last game before he appears on the Wii U, and you should really check this out.  Don’t forget, St. Louis Public Library allows you to check out games for Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS4, and Xbox One.  Kirby’s Return to Dreamland is one of the hundreds of games the library carries. 

Best Stuff of 2013 Continues . . .

December 21, 2013 Leave a comment

And our list of the best stuff of 2013 continues.  Today we’ll highlight the best video games of 2013.

The Last of Us – (Naughty Dog, PlayStation3, Rated M for Mature): Hollywood wishes it could make a movie with this much feels.  This journey across a post-apocalyptic America is full of nerve-wracking encounters.  But, it’s the relationship between the world weary protaganist and the teenage girl in his charge, that keeps us playing.

 

 

Fire Emblem Awakening – (Nintendo, 3DS, Rated T for Teen): This tactical RPG is a true powerhouse of a game in the palm of your hand.  With epic battles, powerful characters, and solid gameplay, Fire Emblem will suck away your freetime like no other game.

 

 

Rayman Legends – (Ubisoft, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Ps Vita, rated E for Everyone): Once a Wii U exclusive, this superb platformer is a must play.  A game so addictive, that dispite its high difficulty curve, you’ll come back again and again.

 

There was a plethora of superb games released in 2013.  The titles above are but a taste.  With the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, 2014 looks to be an even better year for gaming.

Video Game Review: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

November 27, 2013 Leave a comment

I took the day off work, my significant other was out-of-town, everything was perfect.  All that was left was for Mr. UPS to deliver the goods, and a knock at my door at 10:00 a.m. sharp, told me all was right with the world.  My PlayStation 4 was here, and I was ready to get my game on.  This isn’t a system review, check out the previous blogpost for that, this is simply a game review.

I picked up two games with my PS4 system, Assassin’s Creed IV, and Killzone: Shadowfall.  If I told you I haven’t even put Killzone into the system yet, you get a good idea of how this review is going to go.

_-Assassins-Creed-IV-Black-Flag-PS4-_Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – PS4

I’ve been a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, since playing the first one.  I’ve reached 100% on all the games in singleplayer, and spent plenty of time in multiplayer.  So, telling you I was disappointed with Assassin’s Creed III is a big deal.  I felt the protaganist, Conner, was bland and uninteresting, the setting was a bit meh, and the game had it’s fair share of bugs and curious design choices.  I was beginning to worry that Assassin’s Creed was creeping into Call of Duty territory – an uninspired sequelfest that I’d rather use as a coaster than play.

Well, Assassin’s Creed IV instantly shattered those fears.  This was one of those games that in the first 10 minutes, you just knew was going to be good.  The pirate setting is fantastic, if not milked a little too hard.  The developers seemed intent on cramming every major historical figure of the era into the game.  The controls are tight, but still suffer from some of the series longstanding problems, your character running up unwanted surfaces, refusing to scale surfaces when to close to them, but these weren’t too distractful.

The big draw for me was the ship element.  I enjoyed these segments in Assassin’s Creed III, but they were superflous.  Whereas in IV, they are the core element of the game.  Sea battles, whale-hunting, treasure diving, these are vital elements to the game, and all require you to be at sea.  The most surprising element, and one which brought me the most joy, was my crew singing sea shanties, whilst sailing the ocean.  You can gain more shanties by chasing floating song sheets in various towns, and it’s well worth it.  It kinda works like the radio in Grand Theft Auto, but with pirates.  In fact, I enjoyed sailing the oceans so much, that I found I didn’t really want to go do your typical assassin activities on land.  If I didn’t have the urge to collect more shanties, I wouldn’t go to town at all.

The modern day element of Assassin’s Creed IV is significantly toned down.  Time spent in the modern world is reduced to fetch and carry missions, and hacking computers, all done in first-person.  Gone are the days of the parkour antics of Desmond.  To be honest, I’d be plenty happy if Ubisoft just dropped the modern element of Assassin’s Creed altogether.  But, at least IV pulls me out of my pirating ways rarely, and when it does, I’m back on my ship, shouting “Arrrrrrr” in record time.

The game is massive to boot.  I put in 60-70 hours to complete all 100% of the game.  This doesn’t include time spent in multiplayer reaching prestige level 3.  There are a few too many “follow this guy” missions, and this didn’t help to entice me to step off my ship.  Overall this is a fantastic game with plenty of replay value.  It is a return to form for the Assassin’s Creed series, and in my opinion is the best.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is rated M for Mature, and is available for PS3. PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U (although the Wii U version will not receive the planned DLC).

There’s No Time Quite Like Summer.

May 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Summer is here.  School is out.  Time to let the good times roll.  Whether you are staying in St. Louis, or travelling further a field, there’s no time of the year quite like summer.  With that in mind, here’s a list of things to do, see, or read this most excellent  of summers.

If you only do one thing this summer, it should most definitely be taking part in St. Louis Public Library’s Summer Reading Club.

Pop into your local branch to pick-up your blue registration card. Once you’ve read 5 books, bring it back to the library for a free messenger bag, and a free book.

You’ll then receive a ruby card. Complete 5 more books, return your card, and get a voucher for free baseball tickets (whilst supplies last). You will also receive an entry form for our “First Pitch Contest”. Tell us why you should get to throw out the first pitch at a Cardinals game, and you could win the chance to do just that.

After ruby, comes your emerald card. Read 5 more books, return your card, and get a rainbow lollipop. What’s that I hear you say, “No more incentives, why should I continue reading”? Well, each card you turn in gets you an entry into our grand prize drawing. This gives you the chane to win movies tickets, an iPod Shuffle, or an iPad 2. So, the more you read, the more entries you get, thus the better your chances of winning one of our grand prizes are! For more information, check out our website http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/summer_reading_club.asp

Our Summer Reading Club runs from May 6th – July 27th.

summer-reading-533

 

Summer wouldn’t be summer without a few Hollywood blockbusters.  So, if the Missouri heat gets a little too much to bear, take a nice air conditioned break, and enjoy a couple of movies:

Man of Steel – hits theatres on June 14

Pacific Rim – hits theatres July 12th

 

If you’re like me, a large part of summer is spent catching up on video games.  Summer isn’t traditionally a big release time for games, but there’s always a few games worth checking out:

Madden NFL 25 – hits store shelves on August 27th

For the handheld gamers out there, Nintendo drops their new Animal Crossing this summer.  Beware!  This game can be seriously addictive.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf – June 9th

 

If movies and games aren’t your thing, you can always settle for that tried and tested summer activity – reading a book.  Check out this list by NPR of great summer reads for teens: http://www.npr.org/2012/06/07/154425745/books-for-you-and-your-bff-summers-teen-reads

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