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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review Previews

Beta and I have spent part of today playtesting Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility and Excitebots: Trick Racing, both for Wii. Here’s some summaries of our opinions to tide everyone over for proper reviews.

  • Here’s my first thought on Excitebots: WOW. I really love the sensation of speed this game gives you. You’re also not just turning the wheel to steer either; you’re constantly shaking it to recover from crashes, moving it around in a circle to spin around a bar, and more. This game is a blast, and we had a good time racing each other. The buzz was phenomenal.
  • The new Harvest Moon, on the other hand, has some drawbacks. HM’s gameplay seems to have gotten slower and slower, to me, since Back to Nature on the Playstation, and this game doesn’t reverse this trend. My favorite Harvest Moons are Back to Nature (PSX) and A Wonderful Life (GC), and this one isn’t looking to crack that short list at the moment. It does, however, have one laugh-out-loud funny feature – the storms. Now, Harvest Moon games somewhat revolve around rain in that you want it fairly often to alleviate some of the tedium of watering your plants daily. However, never before has the sound of thunder been played by a toilet being flushed. I swear to God, that’s what storms sounds like, just repeated flushings of a toilet. We laughed so hard when it dawned on us that that’s what it sounded like. I say, rent it just for that and get a laugh.

In other news, we obviously have The Sims 3 and are reviewing it as well. Great fun, and it truly breathes new life into the series. A quick anecdote: Beta was playing Sims 2 the night before we got the game, and she was getting tons of lucky breaks. She was having a great game, which she said could be attributed to the game saying, “Don’t leave me!”. Funny stuff.

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