Once again, I'm unloading surplus games on eBay for prices that are
CRAAAZY! Capsule reviews follow.
Tales: A fairly enjoyable cardgame wrapped around a
set of minigames designed with the sole purpose of destroying your DS
Starsign: A surprisingly funny little RPG. The best thing that
Brownie Brown's done in years, although that doesn't take much since
they spend most of their time beating the goodwill out of the Secret
of Mana horse.
Hawk's American Skateland: A decent Tony Hawk game for a handheld.
The touch controls are a bit gratuitous, though.
Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings: Square's idea of an RTS, this is a
fairly enjoyable game, but it's got some brutally unfair missions, and
it generally requires only rush tactics to get through. All the depth is
in picking your troops, not generally in deploying them.
of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: It's a Zelda game, basically Wind
Waker in 2.5D. I don't have much to say about this one. My favorite
Zelda is still Link's Awakening or the Capcom games, and
everything else always seems like kind of a slog. It's pretty short,
Kong Jungle Beat: I just don't have room for the drums in the
apartment any more. This is not a terribly long game, and prior to
Rock Band it was the winner in the "disturb the neighbors with
the sound of objects striking each other" sweepstakes. But it is a lot
of fun, and on the combo-heavy levels it has a nice old-school groove to
it that reminds me of Ninja Gaiden.
Hero III: Here's the most interesting game of the
bunch--not because it's good or bad, because it's decent at what it
does, but because it inadvertently exposes a lot about rhythm game
timing. In GH and GH2, Harmonix tweaked the timing on
hammer-ons and pull-offs, but the basic note window remained pretty
tight. In an attempt to make the third game a bit more newbie-friendly,
Neversoft widened the window, which had the perverse effect of
decoupling notes from strums and actually made the game harder to play
effectively (as the player can trigger the wrong notes during reasonably
fast runs). GH3 has a fair number of other issues, including
intrusive corporate sponsorships and sexism, but the timing window was
the one that I found hardest to ignore.