Review – Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

FYC - Lego Batman 2 Review

Where does he get those wonderful toys?  From Lego of course!  Paige and I took a look at Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes on the PS3.  Lego Batman 2 from Traveller’s Tales and Warner Bros. Interactive is available on all major platforms and brings players a ton of great DC content.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogqYom8p_Pc&w=560&h=315]

The gameplay is consistent with previous Lego titles, so anyone familiar with these games will feel right at home.  As you explore and work to save Gotham you’ll build, break things apart, build again, fight and collect to your heart’s content.  I have to admit that sometimes smashing everything in sight does not feel very “Batman”.

There are two main modes of play to enjoy in Lego Batman 2.  Story missions place you in the shoes of the dynamic duo out to stop the Joker and along with some of the most memorable villains from the DC universe.  Lex Luthor teams up with the Joker and Batman has no choice but to call upon some of his friends…Super Friends!   Like other Lego titles of the past, once a story level is completed you can then play the level in “free play” mode utilizing any other DC character you unlock along the way.  Between missions you’ll have access to an impressively large and detailed open world Lego Gotham City.  So “Batman”!

While the story missions are well designed and make good use of Batman and Robin’s skills and their array of special suits, the open world Gotham is where we spent most of our time.  This is where you’ll find the majority of playable characters to add to your Lego DC roster.  In true DC fashion, some characters are more powerful than others, but overall the characters are well balanced.  There will be times when you’ll want to break out the Penguin and yes, even Aquaman.

Paige couldn’t stop playing as Wonder Woman but Harley Quinn was a close second for her.  As for me, when I first took to the skies as Superman and heard his iconic theme song I was hooked.  I also enjoyed playing as the Green Lantern as his abilities can earn you some pretty quick cash in and around Lego Gotham…always about the green.

Mini games, unlockable characters and Lego vehicles plus a wide range of other challenges are scattered around Gotham.  Helpful and loyal Alfred helps you reveal the map and any Super Villains on the lamb as you find more remote bat computer access points.  When you defeat these villains found in the map, you can purchase them and bring them into the fight.

You can play up to 2 players locally in split screen in either Gotham City or in the story levels.  Lego Batman 2 uses a “dynamic split screen” option as their default in the story missions.  While this gave the gameplay a more dynamic and comic book feel, there were times I didn’t know which part of the screen was mine and the control, especially while flying often fell flat in these situations.

The game looks and sounds great.  The cut-scenes are fun, the story touches on some great DC history.  Overall, it’s a solid game.  I’m still impressed my 7 year old daughter knows who Killer Moth is.

 

Pros

  • A fun story and enjoyable cut-scenes
  • Balanced gameplay with engaging but not overly difficult puzzles.
  • Tons of fun DC characters and vehicles to play
  • Batman!

Cons

  • Some control issues in multiplayer
  • Character selection in multiplayer can slow things down for the other player
  • I walked Aquaman off Gotham Beach into the water and he drowned…wait, what?

For Feed Your Console, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes gets a 9 out of 10 from me.  Paige gives it a stunning 10 out of 10.

Developer Interview – FIFA 13 Wii U

FIFA 13 on the Wii U

FIFA Soccer 13 – Developer Interview and Hands-on

We got a hands-on demo and Developer Interview for FIFA Soccer 13 for the Wii U. It comes out on November 18th with the launch of the Wii U itself.  FIFA 13 could be the big surprise at the Wii U’s launch as it blends new gameplay and core FIFA controls extremely well.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beXGhjuSncE&w=560&h=315]

FIFA fans that have played the game on other consoles will be in familiar territory as the controller allows you to play as you would on the PS3 or Xbox360.   The Wii U’s touch-screen adds new elements like touch-screen shooting and very interesting options for the Manager Mode.

You can set up passes and draw routes for AI team members on the gamepad and interact with players at half-time from the controller.

We talk to Mat, Producer with EA to learn more.  He was very informative and we had the chance to learn quite a bit about FIFA Soccer 13 and the Wii U.

Thanks to Mat and EA.

FIFA 13 Wii U Manager Mode

3DS Holiday Line-up

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Nintendo 3DS Holiday Games

Hands-on Previews from the Nintendo 2012 Holiday Event

When we checked out the Nintendo Holiday Event this past Month in Toronto, we had a chance to take a close look at some new and upcoming games for the Nintendo 3DS.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jgUFJhdq9c&w=560&h=315]

The Nintendo 3DS had its own room at the Nintendo 2012 Holiday Event and Paige ran to it as soon as we got in.  Let’s go over the 3DS titles we looked at:

Pokemon Dream Radar – Creatures, Inc. and Nintendo

This game or rather an experience is rated E for everyone and is already out in the Nintendo eShop, Pokemon Dream Radar is a cool little AR experience.  Basically you  collect rare Pokemon by shooting them out of the environment around you.

Style Savvy: Trendsetters – Nintendo

Ok, so I know a whole bunch of you out there always dreamed of being the next fashion mogul or trendy boutique owner…you know who you are.  Well, if you have a 3DS, your dreams have been answered.  Paige gets a hands-on for Style Savvy: Trendsetters thats rated E for everyone and already out on the 3DS.You dress up your customers and unlock new areas in town as you go.  You can also download new fashions and more.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star – Intelligent Systems and Nintendo

Paper Mario: Sticker Star is out November 11th for the Nintendo 3DS.  That’s right, Paper  Mario is back for more action and this game should be familiar to fans of the Paper Mario series.  You’ll gain experience collecting stickers and use them in turn-based battle.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – Nintendo

As an old school Mario fan-boy, try to stop me from playing some New Super Mario Bros. 2 already available for the 3DS.  It reminded me of playing the previous title on the Wii, I had fun playing this solid platformer.  It’s also good to see the Super Leaf back again.

Crashmo – Intelligent Systems

We both really liked playing Crashmo.  It’s the sequel to Pushmo that’s set to be released in the Nintendo eSop on November 22nd.  The idea is simple, push and move blocks around to reach the top.  The levels increase in difficulty and in Crashmo, there’s a few cool gravity mechanics and other gameplay twists that add to the fun.

Fluidity: Spin Cycle – Curve Studios and Nintendo

Fluidity: Spin Cycle will be available in the eShop on December 27th.  In this fun puzzle game you take control of a little puddle of water as you move through mazes by tilting the 3DS.  You`ll need to master changes of state as you change to ice or vapor to move forward.

Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! – Asobism and Nintendo

We also looked at Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! It’s available on the 3DS on November 5th .  Players make characters called Formees to explore and complete missions.  Freakyforms Deluxe adds multiplayer and new areas to interact in.

We had a lot of fun trying out new and upcoming Nintendo 3DS titles.  Thanks to Nintendo.

fyc_3ds_event2

Nintendo Wii U Holiday Event

Nintendo 2012 Holiday Event

Nintendo Wii U 2012 Holiday Event – Toronto, ON

Nintendo knows how to throw a party, and they didn’t pull any punches when getting ready for the 2012 Holiday Season.  The Wii U is the little Nintendo device with a very neat looking controller that’s on everyone’s minds.  Will the WIi U help Nintendo compete with Xbox and PlayStation in the coming year?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIP3JmQ7yvY&w=560&h=315]

First, let’s take a closer look at the Wii U itself:

  • The Wii U will display games in HD.
  • The Wii U is backwards compatible with your Wii controllers
  • The Wii U controller has a touchscreen, camera and 2 analogue sticks.
  • The Wii U will be available in 2 different models each at a different price.
  • The Wii U Basic is white, comes with 8 GB of internal storage and will retail for $299.99.
  • The Wii U Deluxe is black and will retail for $349.99. It includes 32 GB of memory, Nintendo Land, a charging station and stands for the Wii U controller and console.

Now on to the Wii U launch titles we checked out….

Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land aims to be that party game that also demonstrates and teaches you how to use the Wii U controller.  Think of it like Wii Sports for the Wii U, but the game seems more complete than a simple collection of mini games.  Nintendo Land launches with the Wii U.

New Super Mario Bros. U

Take to the mushroom kingdom in HD with New Super Mario Bros. U.  You can bring your own Mii into the mix this time around and a 5th player can join in on the Wii U Controller to help the other players.  We had a good time with this one and the platforming was as solid as you would expect from a Mario game.

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Scribblenauts Unlimited is from 5th Cell and WB Games and is available for the Wii U on November 18th.  Scribblenauts is even bigger this time around and with more recognized words and items to play with than ever before.  Paige even helps demonstrate how the spell check can kick in and help out…could have been me just as easy.

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Epic Mickey 2, The Power of Two from Junction Point and Disney Interactive is also out on November 18th  You can play drop-in/drop-out co-op with a friend  and the colors look great in HD.

FIFA Soccer 13

FIFA Soccer 13 makes its way to the WIi U and will be available at launch.  The Wii U controller adds new options for both gameplay and in management modes.  We got a close look at how the controller adds to the gameplay in this title.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge

Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge from Techmo and Team Ninja was also on display.  Usethe Wii U control to select weapons, trigger Ninpo and more.  Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge will be available November 18th as another launch title exclusively for the Wii U.

Zombi U and Black Ops II

I took aim at Zombi U from Ubisoft and how players can take out Zombies from a distance using the Wii U controller.  Call of Duty Black Ops II, is also out for the Wii U on November 18th and brings this intense first-person shooter to a new audience now that Nintendo is HD.  Will the control pad add to the gameplay?  Don’t look for killstreaks either…at least not by that name..here they are called scorestreakes.

Kirby’s Dream Collection (Wii)

We tried out Kirby’s Dream Collection that’s already been released on the Wii.  Kirby fans rejoice! This 20th Anniversary collection from Hal Laboratory and Nintendo includes 6 Kirby titles.

3DS Games

There was also a room for new and upcoming 3DS games.  We checked out a bunch of 3DS and DS games while we were there.  Pokemon Dream Radar and Style Savvy: Trend Setters got Paige’s attention while I really liked playing Crashmo, sequel to Pushmo and New Super Mario Bros. 2

We also played Paper Mario: Sticker Star set to be released on November 11th 2012

The Nintendo Holiday Event was fun this year…and the upcoming Wii U release on November 18th has us asking a lot of questions.  I can’t wait to see more as developers find ways to take advantage of the unique controls.

Thanks to Nintendo and to the attending developers.

Nintendo 2012 Holiday Event

Developer Interviews – Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

Developer Interviews - Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

Developer Interviews – Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

From the Sony PlayStation 2012 Holiday Event in Toronto, Canada

Welcome to our Developer Interview Double Feature.  We focus on games that little ones can play but are still fun for more experienced players.  We present Hands-on demos and Developer Interviews for the upcoming titles, Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting.

The recent Sony PlayStation Holiday Event here in Toronto provided the perfect venue to learn more about these titles

Skylanders Giants:

Skylanders Giants, from Activision and Toys for Bob is out for the PS3, Xbox360 Wii and 3DS on October 21st 2012.  A Wii U version is available on November 18th, 2012.   It continues and builds upon the gameplay style of Skylander’s Spyro Adventure.  In Skylanders Giants you get to play as…you guessed it Giants!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azMpiEEvnHk&w=560&h=315]

Using the portal you change out characters on the fly, making use of their specific abilities and upgrades and all the information is stored on the figures.  I love how it doesn’t take batteries and the newly added advanced difficulty levels should add to the replayability.  Check out what Lou, Production Coordinator for Skylander’s Giants has to say.

LittleBigPlanet Karting:

Rated E for everyone and out on November 6th 2012, LittleBigPlanet Karting or LBPK combines the Play, create and share concept of LittleBigPlanet with kart racing action and gameplay we’re already familiar with.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-XqKjYxJUk&w=560&h=315]

Developers from United Front Games worked with Media Molecule to bring this fun, accessible and creative kart racer exclusively to the PS3.  An adventure spanning over 25 levels over a few Planets and online play and sharing can be found here.  LittleBigPlanet Karting gives you up to 4 player multiplayer locally and up to 8 races online.

We get a chance to talk with Nick, Gameplay Designer for LittleBigPlanet Karting to get the low-down.

PlayStation 2012 Holiday Event Video Report

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JoystickUnicorn’s PlayStation Holiday Event 2012 – Toronto, Oct. 3, 2012

Because the idea of opening new video games on Christmas morning always filled me with a childhood sense of wonderment, let’s take a look at the Sony PlayStation 2012 Holiday Event through a child’s eyes…literally.

On Oct. 3 2012, Sony and many leading developers showcased new and upcoming PS3 game titles for the holiday season.  Paige and I made our way to the Palais Royale on Toronto’s Waterfront to see what we could expect from PlayStation over the holidays.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMiDhsFOYT8&w=560&h=315]

Paige was instinctively drawn to Skylanders Giants from Activision and Square Enix.  Out on Oct. 21st, Skylanders Giants lets you switch out your figures on the fly during gameplay as its the figures that store the individual stats.  More game modes have been added along with more advanced difficulty modes and a fun co-op.

LittleBigPlanet Karting available on the PS3 on Nov. 6th blends the kart racing we all know and love with the creativity typically found in games with LittleBigPlanet in the title.  We raced a few laps using the PS Move Steering wheel in this title from United Front Games and Media Molecule.

Paige with the Sony WonderbookThe Sony Wonderbook, set to be released in December was on display with their launch title, Book of Spells.  This interactive, AR experience is set prior to the events of the Harry Potter movies, but Paige loved seeing herself in the environment, conjuring magic.

The Unfinished Swan was a delightful surprise.  This innovative game is available for download on the PSN Oct 24th.  You use the PS Move to traverse a blank white canvas, painting the environment as you go.  The controls were simple and intuitive.

Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time from Sanzaru Games and Sony Entertainment picks up after Sly Cooper 3. It includes a new costume system used to give Sly abilities like additional defence and more.  It’s out Feb. 5th, 2013

Paige and I faced off in Injustice: Gods Among Us.  She as Harley Quinn, me The Flash.  The over-the-top power moves and gameplay was fun for me, but not so much for my 6 year old daughter.  Injustice: Gods Among Us is out in the Spring of 2013

PlayStation All-StarsWe checked out Assassins Creed III and the naval battle mode.  I thought the ship moved well through the water.  This is another title geared more for me.  Check it out yourself on Nov 20th.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royal out Nov 20th provided a ton of fun.  While Paige wanted to exclusively play as Fat Princess, we had the chance to see a few different fighters in play.

As for the PS Vita, we checked out FIFA 13 and Sound Shapes.  I Thought the Vita controls worked well for Sound Shapes especially.

Stay tuned for more from the Sony Holiday Event as we talk with developers from LittleBigPlanet Karting, Skylanders Giants, Book of Magic and PlayStation All-Stars.

Sony PlayStation Holiday Event 2012

Fan Expo Toronto 2012 Report

Fan Expo Toronto 2012 THQ Booth

Feed Your Console Presents:

JoystickUnicorn’s Fan Expo Toronto 2012 Report

Please enjoy parts one and two of our Fan Expo Toronto 2012 Report.  From August 23rd to the 26th, the Toronto Metro Convention Center was swarmed by all types of heroes, villains, anime stars and other unworldly creatures.

Part 1 – Our Floor Report:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1KmcfEdWmQ&w=560&h=315]

Part 2 – Our Gamer Report:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cm3cfzadRU&w=560&h=315]

Paige and I took a look from the perspective of a 6 year old gamer girl and her aging gamer Dad.  We just had to take a look at everything from the latest in comics, Sci-Fi and the newest in video games.

The Highlights:

  • Xbox360 had Halo 4 on display and the line to play nearly wound around the block.
  • Ubisoft featured many of their core titles. Just Dance 4, Assassin’s creed 3, Rocksmith and ZombiU
  • WB Games highlighted the upcoming fighting game, Injustice Gods Among Us as well as Lego Lord of the Rings and more.
  • Disney Interactive had a display for Epic Mickey 2 and featured Disney Artists.
  • Disney also presented a cool FrankenWeenie display for the upcoming Tim Burton flick out Oct. 5th
  • We sampled Dual Play glasses and display from LG.  It allows 2 players to use the same screen and not see the others gameplay.
  • A Dancing Jedi!

In the 3rd Part of the JoystickUnicorn Fan Expo Toronto 2012 Review we’ll take a look at our favorite Cosplay from Toronto Fan Expo.

The Ouya and Kickstarter – An Industry Wake-up call?

The Ouya Console from Boxer8

Is the Ouya “the little Android box that could”?

If we take a look at the outstanding success of their recent Kickstarter campaign that might certainly be the case.  Just last week, the Boxer 8 Kickstarter campaign for the Ouya had concluded.  Saying that this campaign was a success would be an unbelievable understatement.

Ouya Kickstarter CampaignBoxer8, lead by Julie Uhrman was able to raise nearly $ 8.6 Million while their goal was to raise $ 950 000.  This was actually the 2nd most successful Kickstarter campaign to date and shows a desire from many in the community to see change or a move forward in terms of console evolution and opportunities for smaller developers.

The concept of the Ouya is to provide a more cost-effective gaming experience while allowing smaller and independent game developers more access to TV or living room gaming.  The system is set to run about $99USD when launched.

Recently, gamers have had to look to IOS devices and other mobile platforms for some of the more unique and innovative games out there.  Because the Ouya runs on the Andriod OS, it provides a familiar playing field and more flexibility for both developers and gamers.

Will the Ouya console be a wake-up call for the big boys in the gaming industry?

Let’s look at what we know so far about this system:

  • It’s set to release in March of 2013. You can pre-order on the Ouya website as of now.
  • The Ouya has 1 GB of ram and 8 GB of internal flash memory “under the hood” running on a Tegra3 Processor.
  • The Ouya controller is wireless, keeps the player within familiar territory.  It’s beautifully designed and it is reported to sport a small, 3” touch screen.
  • The Base system comes with one controller, additional Ouya controllers will go for about $30USD.
  • Boxer8 has accessibility on their minds for both the players and for smaller, independent developers.  The system supports, mods or hacks depending on what term you like to use and the circles you run with.
  • The Ouya console is small in size…a bit larger than a Rubik’s Cube…pretty cool eh?

OnLive is pledging their support so right away players will be able to play streaming PC games plus both Vevo and TwitchTV have committed to providing more of the media content.   Square Enix and Namco Bandai have announced games upon release and expressed interest respectively.  A ton of independent developers have already voiced an interest in the Ouya and consider this a new opportunity share their games.

There will be freemium titles to play right away but in all honesty, part of me fears dealing with cash shops within cash shops.  This being said, if this is the evolution of gaming and represents how a large portion of gamers want to game and pay for their gaming experiences then I’m sure a balanced approached will be implemented.  Another common concern that pops up is how easy it is to mod or hack the Ouya and what that could mean for online play.  This in my opinion, isn’t much different than PC mods and should not detract from the overall fun.  I’ll need to try it out to be sure.

I have high hopes for what this could mean for home console gaming, but I am skeptical…either way I’m looking forward to a little “shake-up” in the gaming industry.

To see more on the Ouya head on over to their website at http://www.ouya.tv/