Posts Tagged ‘party’

Guilty Party (Wii)

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Wii
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Many games aimed at families have the unfortunate reputation of poor quality and having little or no appeal to adults who don’t have kids. In fact, many games are labeled as family games just because they have content that’s good for young kids. That’s just one of the reasons why Guilty Party is so refreshing. It’s a true family game with high production values, great gameplay, and characters that really can appeal to gamers of all ages.

Developed by Wideload Games, Guilty Party is an original turn-based mystery game, similar to the classic board game, Clue. Up to four players run around environments, interview suspects to determine if they’re telling the truth, and collect clues in order to determine the full physical description of the culprit. Each player earns a set amount of tokens per turn, and every action costs one token. Additionally, players are given Savvy Cards that can be used to help them in tracking down the criminal.

The game functions like a 3D board game with players and suspects moving from room to room. After collecting enough clues to prove the guilt of the culprit, players must accuse him or her and present evidence to support their accusation. Interrogating suspects and uncovering clues are accomplished by completing various mini-games. There are more than 50 of these challenges and they’re randomly generated for each instance, so it’s doubtful you’ll find yourself getting bored with them too quickly.

The game’s story is centered on members of the Dickens family, who are all top-notch detectives trying to track down the criminal mastermind, Mr. Valentine. Players can choose to play as one of six family members, with a seventh being unlocked upon completing story mode. There are a total of 16 suspects in the game, though not all of them are involved in every case. The suspects range from mystery game classics, like the butler and the maid, to more unique characters like a journalist and a General.

All of the characters are brand new, but they already seem to fit perfectly in the larger Disney universe. The Dickens family is most reminiscent of the Incredibles, but they have their own unique traits that set them apart. Great voice acting completes the package and really brings the characters to life. The game also has a nice sense of humor, with a Pixar-like quality where there are plenty of jokes for the adults as well as the kids.

Competitive play is where the game really shines, as players can use their Savvy Cards to sabotage each other by stealing coins or cards, locking each other in rooms, or making suspects less likely to talk. In Party Mode the order of mini-games is randomly generated meaning there is almost limitless replayability, which is a huge plus for the game.

My only big issue with Guilty Party is that some of the mini-games tend to be more of the same wild Wii remote flailing that we’ve seen a million times before. However, the sense of humor surrounding the premise of the games helps to make up for this a bit. In interviewing suspects, the mini-games often involve intimidating or strong-arming them in some way. For example, one exercise has you punching the remote into your open hand, while another has you staring down the suspect by keeping a pair eyes matched on theirs. Perhaps the best mini-game premise, though, is a good old-fashioned bribe that has you placing $100 bills into the suspect’s hands. On the plus side is that fact that these games control very well, and can actually be quite challenging on the highest difficulty rating.

Another weakness is that playing by yourself isn’t really that much fun. The game was truly designed for multiplayer, and since there’s no online play, if you don’t have someone else living with you who plays games you probably won’t find much to entertain you with Guilty Party. (ign)

Published by: Disney Interactive Studios
Developed by: Wideload Games
Genre: Party
Number of Players: 1-4
Release Date: US: August 31, 2010
MSRP: $39.99
E for Everyone: Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence

Start The Party! (PS 3)

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Playstation 3
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Start the Party ScreenshotWith its added exclamation mark, you’d expect Start The Party! to spontaneously generate a shindig whenever you fire up the PS3, but in reality Start The Party! would be more likely to generate a scrap with your guests if you ever put it on at a get-together. That’s not to say that the game isn’t fun to play, but give us booze, scantily clad guests, and a hot-tub over this glorified tech demo any day of the week.

The single player mode allows you to play through the nine individual mini-games at your leisure, clocking up high scores on a league table as you go. Each game utilises the Move’s augmented reality capabilities via the glowing balls and Eye to render an everyday object onto the Move controller. On-screen, the neon ball is replaced with a fly swat, a torch, or a paint brush, depending on the game.

Of the nine mini-games, some are more fun than the others. Cut N Colour, the hairdressing game, has a goofy charm, whilst Helicopter Rescue, with its simplistic control system, is strangely enjoyable. Parachute Panic and Poppin’ employ much less intuitive use of the motion control and as such can me more frustrating than party-riffic.

Spooky Shootout and Picture This are the pick of the fairly average bunch. Shootout is like Alan Wake for under-5s, putting you in a darkened room with torch in hand to reveal the oncoming ghosts. When the special ghost comes into play, you have to hide the Move controller behind your back, extinguishing the light – an interesting touch in what is essentially a glorified shooter.

Picture This offers up a series of obscure shapes which you have to fill in with your paintbrush. Once completed the shapes combine to reveal your picture. We know these may not seem exciting, but we’re trying to see the bright side here.

Start the Party ScreenshotSurvival mode in the single player mode is probably the closest you’ll get to feeling in the mood to party. The mini-games are fired at you in quick succession against the clock. Complete a mini-game successfully and your clock regenerates, fail and you run out of time – it’s that simple. It also throws in a few smaller games (mini-mini-games?) like a Whack Attack-esque game where you hammer moles as they pop up out of the ground, and a fruit ninja game where you slice fruit with a giant sword as they’re thrown in your direction. Playing against the clock adds a certain level of pressure, but any thrills are fleeting.

The multiplayer aspect is hugely disappointing as it relies on a pass-and-play mentality rather than toe-to-toe two-player, effectively neutering any chances of a party atmosphere being spontaneously started. There is an element of competition with certain games offering a winner takes all points system, but it feels like a missed opportunity.

In terms of presentation, the game looks and sounds like it’s aimed at five-year-olds, which in itself isn’t a crime, but compared to many of the other ‘party’ games already available for Wii, Start The Party! lacks a certain amount of charm. (ign)

Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Supermassive Games
Genre: Party
Release Date: US: September 7, 2010 , Japan: TBA 2010
MSRP: $39.99
RP for Rating Pending

Another Look at Wii Party

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Wii
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Wii Party Screenshot

Wii Party: A game already out in Japan and set to fling out onto shelves in Europe next month. Despite it’s imminent release in the West though, we still took time to check out Nintendo’s latest foray into the mini-game genre on the show floor at this year’s Gamescom.

Despite it’s quite apparent finished-product status, Nintendo are only demoing the briefest snippets of the game. Namely Board Game Island – the mode that most closely resembles the company’s long-running Mario Party series. Of course, this time, Nintendo’s fat-arsed mascot is nowhere in site and it’s left to those surly Mii to represent as up to four players race along the board to the finish line at the top of the mode’s titular volcanic island.

It’s familiar territory, with each 45-minute game (Wii Party lets you know the length of each mode before playing so you know whether you’ll have time to squeeze in a game before your favourite soap) split into rounds consisting of a mini-game and board movements. How it works is simple: place first, second or third in a mini-game and you’re rewarded with a gold, silver or bronze dice, doubling your potential roll score back on the board. What’s more, the fancier the metal, the higher the probability of rolling a bigger number with the special dice when you return to the board. Brill.

We had chance to whizz through three mini-game during out time with the game: Shifting Gifts, Derby Dash and something else we forgot to make a note of the title for. The latter sees your Miis hurtling on foot along a track, hopping over oncoming logs and barrels. Simply flip the Wiimote up to leap over obstacles and waggle mid air to clear multiple hurdles. As ever, first to the finish line wins. Meanwhile, Derby Dash sees players attempting to keep a stack of gift-wrapped presents balanced and aloft by tilting the Remote. Finally, Derby Dash tasks players with flailing the controller like a whip to gee on their horses without knackering the knackers out. All good clean fun,

Wii Party Screenshot
That’s pretty much it, other than to note that, back on the board, you’ll occasionally run into traps and obstacles, some squares pushing you forward and others sending you back. When we hit a wall demanding we rolled either a 4, 5 or 6 to proceed, we moved onto other things. Or at least our Nintendo rep gave us a whistle stop tour of some of the other modes on offer.

Board Game Island forms part of the Party Games set, designed for up to four players (other modes include Globe Trot, Swap Meet, Spin-off and Bingo), while Wii Party also features a handful of games created specifically for two players, should your parties routinely fail to go off with a bang. Finally, there’s House Party mode which rounds up a number of less conventional games, making creative use of the Wiimote. For instance, TIme Bomb tasks players with gently passing around the controller, holding down specific buttons at the same time. Vigorous movements will detonate the bomb, bringing shame to all. Similarly, Animal Tracker demands everyone place their Remotes on the floor then hunt out the controller making the noise of the animal prompted on-screen.

So, all in all, Wii Party is pretty much what we expected: a mini-game collection with a little bit more diversity and creativity than the norm. It’ll take a couple of friends and vat of beer to find out if it’s up to the task back out in the real world – and that’s exactly how we’ll be experiencing the game when it’s out next month. Hoorah.

  • Published by: Nintendo
  • Developed by: NDCube
  • Genre: Party
  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Release Date: US: October 3, 2010 . Japan: July 8, 2010
  • MSRP: JPY ¥4,800.00
  • RP for Rating Pending

(ign)