Planet 51 (2009) – 4/10 open-world action racing movie game review

Cast / crew
Original Conception: Ignacio Pérez Dolset
Original Conception: José Manuel García Franco
Game Director: José Manuel García Franco
Producer: Gabriel Ortas

Planet 51 (2009)

Teengaer Lem is happily going about his business – earning a bit of money, taking photos, racing and, erm, collecting cars and bikes and lawnmowers – when a human lands on his planet and causes chaos.

4/10

What’s most annoying about this bland open-world action racing game is that I really want an open-world game where you go around being nice and helping people and don’t go around unavoidably running them over and murdering them and having horrible language hurled at you and insane decisions foisted upon you. I like that you can’t car-jack but that the driver gives you a lift. I like that you can mow people’s lawns. I like that you can deliver newspapers and cars and clean the circus and round up stray dogs. But I also want it to be fun; it must be fun. This isn’t, not even a bit, and the poor production values, broken cut-scenes, half-told story, unresponsive controls, invisible walls, and inherited ugly character design doesn’t help.

This game contains violence.

Classified 7+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 7 or over.

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Call of Duty 3 (2006, 360) – 4/10 World War II first person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Dave Anthony
Senior Producer: Pat Dwyer
Producer: Jason Blundell
Producer Multiplayer: Daniel Bunting
Technical Director Engineering: Mike Anthony
Lead Programmer Engineering: Christian Diefenbach
Technical Director Engineering – Game Content: Matthew Kimberling
Lead Programmer Engineering – Game Content: James Snider
Lead AI Programmer Engineering – Game Content: Peter Livingstone
Creative Director: Richard Farrelly
Lead Game Designer: Jeremy Luyties
Lead Level Builder: Adam Gascoine
Lead Level Scripter: Mike Denny

Call of Duty 3 (2006)

The arrival on Normandy’s beaches was only the start. Call of Duty 3 recreates some of the battles of the Normandy breakout.

4/10

Fortunately, Activision had already committed to a yearly cycle otherwise this dreary, frustrating, unfun shooter could have been the end of the Call of Duty juggernaut before it, er, began. The late Hill 262 mission is a good one (a nightmare on most difficulties though) – urgent and interesting – backed up by the consistently excellent music. There is some impressive technical achievement with great grass, water and some very convincing lighting effects (a strong point in all Call of Duty games) and it’s cool that you can drive around a couple of the levels which mixes things up nicely.

This game contains sexual swear words and war violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (2009, Fantasy Action Platform Adventure, PC Games for Windows Live) – 4/10 game review

Cast / crew
Producer: John Whiston
Lead Designer: Chris Palu
Lead Programmer: James Podesta
Lead Level Designer: Peter Grogan
Lead Engine Programmer: Glenn Watson
Writer (Screenplay): Steven Melching
Writer (Screenplay): Chris Palu
Writer (Screenplay): Matt Emery
Writer (Screenplay): Richard ‘Rik’ Lagarto
Matt Lanter: Anakin Skywalker
Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano
James Arnold Taylor: Obi-Wan Kenobi / Plo Koon
Dee Bradley Baker: Clone Troopers / Captain Rex / Clone Commanders / Sergeant Kano
Tom Kane: Narrator / C-3PO / Yoda

Star Wars: Clone Wars, The: Republic Heroes (2009)

As the Clone Wars continue, Anakin and his padawan Ahsoka discover a powerful prototype weapon is being hawked to the highest bidder by Kul Teska. As they alert others and make their way to Teska himself, other forces are also making plans to relieve Teska of his prize.

4/10

This is a game which opens with Yoda lying to you by telling you that a Jedi can’t fall accidentally to his death and will always land on platforms he is jumping to. Regrettably, the exact opposite is true. Every time you press the jump button, you have no idea if you are going to land where you should or, far too often, plummet impotently to your doom. As a result, the game has no flow. The same is true of the attack button but at least that doesn’t kill you. You just keep swiping ridiculously at the air around droids as if you’re trying to burst their ear drums or something. If the jump mechanics had been more predictable, this would be a good game. It looks fine, sounds fine, there’s enough to do, Cad Bane looks unexpectedly cool and it even has a sense of humour. But, as it is, it’s far too often irritating to play.

This game contains extended fantasy lightsaber mecha violence.

Classified 12+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 12 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Crash of the Titans (2007, Platform Action, 360) – 4/10 game review

Cast / crew

Crash of the Titans (2007)

4/10

Despite some really funky denim shorts, Crash is a charmless and irritating character to play thanks to imprecise controls that see him continuing to move whenever you stop or change direction and nearly fall over every time you attack an enemy (during which time you can be pummeled). The level design needlessly exposes the mechanics of the game by endlessly respawning the creature you need to pass a certain obstacle and giving you a power-up that allows you to take control of these creatures with one punch. A more elegant solution would be to have the shortcut for the creature and a longer, more challenging way for Crash on foot and to have Crash’s attack animations not include him falling over each time. However, each level is of just the right length, the enemy creature design is fun and I really like the way Crash moves along ledges by twiddling his fingers.

This game contains mild bad language and fantasy violence.

Classified 7+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 7 or over.

Links

TMNT (2007, Third-Person Action Movie Game) – 4/10 review

Producer: Benoit Galarneau
Associate Producer: Dominic Laroche
Lead Programmer: Julien Bouvrais
Lead Artist: Frédéric Ressaire
Level Designer: Yannick Blanchot
Sound: Nicholas Duveau

TMNT TMNT (2007)

The turtles tell Splinter about the time when they had to rediscover how important family and trusting in your brothers really is.

4/10

This isn’t a game that gets tired fast, it gets tired instantly. Each of the levels is needlessly long and drawn out with interminable and interchangeable platforming sections punctuated only by quickly wearisome wise-cracks, the surprisingly bizarre notion of having your progress narrated (each level is you relating a past event to someone else) and a bit of button-mashing baddie-bashing. Technically, it’s rather deficient with a variable frame-rate (despite the simplistic geometry) and a poor battle camera (that usually keeps a pile of enemies off-screen). There are worthwhile lessons (the family that kills together, stays together; er, or something like that) and it’s a good game for quick, big gamerscore but it doesn’t have any of the fun and love that the movie had.

This TMNT game contains violence.

Classified 12+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 12 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Hard Evidence (2007, Point-and-Click Mystery Game, 360) – 4/10 review

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Hard Evidence (2007)

4/10

This should be a fascinating, informative, wonderfully polished game but a clunky interface (for example, you cannot select menu items using the left stick), genre limitations (you are sometimes expected to see something you need a flashlight to see before you are allowed to use a flashlight) and ugly presentation (no CSI theme, either) make playing this without a walkthrough a chore. Oddly, character’s eyes are surprisingly well animated (as nothing else is), the stories are pretty nifty with some agreeably salacious motives and twists and there is definite potential for this licence in this genre.

This CSI: Crime Scene Investigation game contains adult dialogue and themes, mild swear words and strong violence, extremely unpleasant scenes and sex scene.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Turok (2008, First-Person Dinosaur Shooting Game, 360) – 4/10 game review

Cast / crew

Turok (2008)

Turok crash lands on a planet and is, oddly, not surprised at all to find it full of dinosaurs. Not that it matters because he won’t survive. No, I mean that. He won’t survive; you will not see the end of the game.

4/10

Well. The dinosaurs look brilliant and some of the level design in the first half is superb with lots of variety in how you can attack the level. The main complaints are that all the weapons sound weedy and the aiming controls aren’t quite right but it’s not unplayable or anything. Then we get to the level ‘Killing Fields.’ This must be the worst designed level in the history of video games. It does absolutely everything wrong. Everywhere is a dead end and nowhere links to anywhere else even though it looks like it does. There is no shelter and no caves or ledges to give you any chance at strategy. There are no visual cues to help you orient yourself in the level (everything is grey – the floor, the rocks, the sky); indeed, the level maliciously delights in picking you up and changing your position and direction whenever it feels like it. A rocket launcher guy is spawned and you are transposed to a pre-defined place you couldn’t possibly be. The checkpoint placement is wrong. The boss can be accidentally spawned meaning certain death. When he is deliberately spawned, it also means near-certain death because he has endless insta-rockets with no reload time and which cannot be sheltered from or avoided. It is the exact opposite of fun and it’s a great shame as the game was shaping up fine until that game-ending, game-destroying vomit of ineptitude and player-hate.

This game contains mild swear words, adult dialogue and gory knife violence against dinosaurs, strong gun and knife violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.