Friday, 14 November 2014

South Park Tables Pinball FX 2 (Xbox One) - Review

The South Park tables are now available to buy within Zen Studios' Pinball FX 2. The pack of two tables includes South Park's Super-Sweet Pinball and South Park: Butter's Very Own Pinball Game.

These tables bring the great fun of the South Park universe to the brilliant game that is Pinball FX 2. They feature sound bites and clips from the show which really helps these tables feel like an extension of the show rather than a game tie in. There are no bad voice-overs to grit your teeth through and the game stays true to the form of the show with its colourful graphics too.

South Park's Super-Sweet Pinball is the busier of the two tables, it's very frenetic but is all the more fun for it. There are plenty of modes on this table to unlock and they feature a myriad of the shows most loved characters. I won't go into too much detail with the modes, as I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise for any of you but suffice it to say that these modes are brilliant.

Butter's Very Own Pinball Game is the less chaotic of the two but this in no way means that the table is any less fun. There are fewer modes to unlock, but they are just as good and challenging as the other table.

These tables seem to be following a recent trend, in that the last few tables I've reviewed have seen a much barer lower end of the table. This is something that I am very grateful for, as I am not a very gifted Pinball player, and would often lose balls if the bottom of the table was a bit chaotic as I simply couldn't see the ball. I know, amateur, right? But these tables, as with The Walking Dead table (my personal favourite) leave the bottom fairly clear, leaving you with plenty of space to attempt to unlock the modes and, most importantly for me at least, keeping track of the ball.

The one criticism I have with these tables is that for what I imagine to be the core demographic for these tables, that being the more mature people that watch the show, these tables may feel fairly tame in comparison. In my mind if you watch the show you are aware of the humour featured, which at the very best can be described as risqué. There's plenty of bad language and really near-the-knuckle jokes, and this type of humour is missing in these tables. I imagine this is so that they could get past certification, after all this game could be played by young children. My son plays the Marvel tables sometimes and there is nothing to stop him opening the South Park tables really. Having said all this though I don't think the tables suffer too much for this, they still feel like South Park-y and are great fun. Go give them a try!
7/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Nutjitsu (Xbox One) - Review

Nutjitsu is available now on the Xbox One store for £5.19/$6.49.

Nutjitsu is a randomly generated Pac-Man-esque romp through feudal Japan. You play as a squirrel who has to collect acorns and avoid the foxes patrolling the areas, trying to amass a high score. Or if you're me, only managing abysmally low scores.

Now this game started its life as a mobile game and unfortunately it does show in this iteration. This game would no doubt feel completely at home on a mobile device, but unfortunately it doesn't translate too well onto the big screen. The graphics are pretty good, the levels are beautiful in their simplicity, but all of this does not seem to be any better now it has moved over to the console.

I think this is an opinion helped in no part by the music in this game, which is the same throughout. This certainly doesn't help in alleviating any negative thoughts towards this game when you are trudging through yet another level. EVERYTHING feels the same. Obviously games like this are like that, but it would have been nice to at least have a different theme for a different level setting or something. I understand that games like Pac-Man work because of their simplicity but this game feels like it errs a little too on the simple side of things for the time.

The main challenge in this game comes from the pure number of foxes that end up on the screen in the later levels. This is fairly easily overcome if you have enough coins to purchase numerous Smoke Bombs. These Smoke Bombs cost 2000 coins though so you may find yourself having to embrace the challenge. Saying that, it seems like he easiest way to level up in Nutjitsu is by using as many items as possible and indeed there are achievements for using items a certain amount of times. This mechanic makes the game feel like a grind. And that is definitely not a good thing in a game like this.

I found this review quite hard to write, as I know that if it had been a cheap mobile game I'd have rated it higher. But the fact is this is on the new gen consoles and it just doesn't compare to anything available on them. It feels like something you should be playing on the bus, not something taking up the prime viewing space in your living room. With a few tweaks this game could definitely be made better, but I still think it might have priced itself out of the market. If its ever on sale at around the £2.99 mark, I'd say Try It!
3/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.