RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Dec 7th 2007 at 05:39:32 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Microsoft, Crackdown, Halo 3, Nintendo, Picross DS, Underrated and Overlooked Games Of The Year

2007 was the year of hype in gaming. Between Halo 3, Mass Effect, Super Mario Galaxy, Crysis, and Assassin's Creed, this year has seen the release of some of the most talked up games of all-time. While some of them fell far short of the hype, there were plenty of other far superior games that came out, but received little to no attention from mainstream gamers. So, continuing now and on every Wednesday (or Thursday) until the end of the year, I will be giving you a look at two games released this year that deserve your hard-earned cash and attention. At the end of this five-part series (ending the day after Christmas), I will list them in order of the most overlooked/underrated.

First up this week is the Halo 3 Beta Crackdown by RealTime Worlds and published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 (I know, Ctrl-Alt-Del sucks, B^U, etc etc, but this one isn't half bad.). Before I talk about it, I want to confess that I have never actually played the game, but I'm just going based off of what Tynstar has said about the game on our forums and what I have heard from elsewhere on the web. Crackdown is an example of when something with not much anticipation rides the coattails of another more popular thing (like The Decemberists riding Stephen Colbert's coattails). Some previous examples of this in gaming include Zone of the Enders (Came with the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo) and Dragon Quest 8 (came with the Final Fantasy 12 demo). In Crackdown's case, RealTime Worlds' corporate overlords (in the publishing sense) at Microsoft thought, "Hey, why don't we give people who  buy Crackdown access to a time-limited beta version of Halo 3! It will increase sales for us because Halo fans will buy anything related to the game..." Okay, maybe they didn't say that exactly, but that seems to be the logic. Include a demo for the most anticipated game of all-time with a game that wouldn't sell very well on its own in order to boost sales. Makes sense. Well, the plan worked, as Crackdown went on to sell 1.35 million copies. Now why, would I include such a successful game on this list? Simple. It only sold that many for the Halo 3 beta. Just go to any used game store and you'll see a boatload of copies of Crackdown available for sale. It's a damned shame too because it's actually a great game and got very good reviews and response from those who actually played it. In the game, you play as a genetically enhanced cop with superhuman, comic book esque abilities. The game revolves around you taking down three gangs that control the city. The game has been described by many people (including our very own Tynstar) as very addictive, and definitely worth picking up. So, those of you with a 360, definitely look into getting this game.

Next game I'd like to feature is one of my favorite games of the year, Picross DS by Jupiter and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. Now, as many of you on this site have discovered, Picross DS is a very addictive DS puzzler which is controlled entirely by the stylus (or the dpad if you please) and is a followup of sorts to Mario's Picross released here in the US 10 years ago on the original Game Boy. Now, many Picross games came out in Japan after Mario's Picross, but they never were released here because Mario's Picross was a commercial failure here, but 12 years later, Nintendo has tried out Picross in the US and Europe again. However, the DS iteration did not do extraordinarily well over here as well. But, for $20 it's a damn good value that will have you hooked for months. Picross DS is kind of like Sudoku, but with pictures. The numbers across the top of the puzzle tell you how many squares to fill in going down (and how many in a row there are), and the numbers going down the side of the puzzle do the same thing, but for going across. It's kind of hard to explain, but if you try out a few puzzles online, you'll understand it. Check out Wikipedia article about Nonograms in order to learn how to play them. You can also try your hand at a few nonogram puzzles by going here. Back to Picross DS, the game includes over 135 puzzles, a Daily Picross feature with five different unlockable minigames to test your puzzle solving skills, a puzzle creator, and online play. The coolest feature about this game are the free downloadable puzzle packs Nintendo has been releasing biweekly. Right now, you can download over 120 additional puzzles to your Picross DS cart (which can hold up to 100 puzzles). The puzzles are mostly from Mario's Picross on the Game Boy, but Nintendo has been having contests to make puzzles and some of those will be posted in a pack. Another online feature the game has is that you can send puzzles you created to your friends and have them solve them. All that for only $20. You really can't go wrong with Picross DS.

Check back next week when we look at something I haven't decided yet. Oddly enough I have no clue what I want to feature the next two times, but I know what the final part of the series will be. Oh well, check back and we'll see what I do. Cheesy

Posted on Sep 8th 2007 at 09:37:40 PM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, Picross DS, Downloadable Content

Nintendo has finally added some downloadable content to its DS puzzler, Picross DS. The puzzle packs, released for free over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, are a collection of 20 puzzles split up into two packs. Both of the packs are comprised of puzzles from Nintendo's only other Picross game that has come out in North America, Mario's Picross for the original Game Boy. The puzzles can be downloaded for free by going to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection on the main menu of Picross DS, selecting Community, and Classic Puzzles.

I am an extreme Picross DS addict, and I have been waiting for at least three weeks for Nintendo to upload some puzzles. I haven't completed every puzzle that is included with the game yet, but it is nice to know that I have 20 more puzzles waiting for me when I am done.

If you haven't picked up Picross DS yet, then shame on you. It's one of the greatest puzzle games to ever grace Nintendo's little dual screen portable, and it will only cost you $20 new. If you have it already or do get it in the future, add me as a friend and let me know your friend code, so we can exchange puzzles and play each other online! My friend code can be found on my collection profile page.

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