Years ago, Ubisoft ushered in a videogame fitness revolution with their Your Shape series on the Nintendo Wii. It wasn’t a surprise when the Kinect came out for the Xbox 360 that Ubisoft was on top of the situation with a Your Shape game specific to that platform. Of course, other developers ended up populating the space with superior products. Ubisoft’s Your Shape series was decent on its own, but in comparison with other fitness games, it didn’t deliver enough benefits relative to its serious tone, and would become less engaging as time went on. Now, Ubisoft has changed gears, releasing Shape Up for the Xbox One. This Kinect-exclusive fitness title puts more of am emphasis on the “game” aspect in an attempt to get players to exercise more. Honestly, this game is a lot more fun than any other game in the Your Shape series, thanks to a great exercise list and hilarious presentation.
It is a universal rule that goats make everything more amazing. Juicy Beast, the developer behind Toto Temple Deluxe clearly subscribes to this rule1. At Gamercamp earlier this year, I hung out with some of the Juicy Beast folks and played a few rounds of their fun and addictive goat-based arena-battle title. Shortly thereafter, they sent me a code so that I could spend more time with the game, checking out all of the different fun features in this crazy battle platformer.
As a fan of the Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series, I look forward to the annual release of the next chapter in the franchise every year. Some may say that this gives me a bias towards the series – and they would be right. However, I would argue that biases are formed for a reason, and while my love of the series makes me somewhat forgiving when something goes awry, it also makes me very sensitive when odd design choices are made and issues exist within the games that I play. Assassin’s Creed: Unity is an ambitious project; incredibly detailed and absolutely beautiful – the first true next-generation Assassin’s Creed. At times, though, it feels as if Ubisoft places more importance on the tech than the story, so the game spends a little time wandering aimlessly (in a sense), leaving the player to truly guide the experience. I have not finished the game yet, and while I do have some negatives to speak of in my review, I am enjoying the game a lot (thus, I wish to take my time). It is a title that demands some patience and understanding, and as a player, you will have to work for your fun; but the game will constantly reward you for your loyalty and persistence, slowly feeding you the story and bolstering the big picture.
In what I would like to call a “Texan gambit”, Nintendo has taken the Super Smash Bros. franchise to the next level by making it even bigger (and better) than any other Smash Bros. that has come before. Four-player multi-player fights with some of your favourite Nintendo characters in weird venues? Pffft. Say hello to local 8-player multi-player battles with access to an even larger selection of wacky Nintendo legends in even more wild and vibrant locales! And while Nintendo has chosen to add a new aspect to the title (and their games in general) with amiibo figures (which will be covered in another article), the core experience of the game has not changed, making it one of the best games for the Wii U to date. If you are one of the three people that don’t own Super Smash Bros. for Wii U yet, you should just take my word for it and grab it right now; but if you’d rather read a glowing review…
Pool is one of those games that summons up images of smoky bars and jazz or blues music – at least it does for those of us who love watching old movies (or for those of us who were born before they banned smoking indoors). While all sports involve physics to some degree, pool is one of those games in which the forces that govern everything are top of mind. Pure Pool, developed by VooFoo Studios, does a fantastic job of emulating all things that encapsulate this fascinating cue sport. So chalk up the stick and watch us break down the Xbox One version that we were sent to evaluate.
Jorge and I got all dolled up Friday for a night on the town, specifically for the 5th annual Canadian Videogame Awards at the Carlu in downtown Toronto. With cameras and drinks in hand, we were lucky enough to rub shoulders with the great actors who voiced Commander Shepard, Anna Grímsdóttir, Bruce Wayne, Sarah Palmer, Aveline de Grandpré and plenty of other iconic videogame characters from the last few years. The spirit of the night was delightfully positive because we were all there to share the same thing: an appreciation for, and celebration of, the accomplishments made by Canadian artists, producers and developers in every sector of the videogame industry over nearly two years.
Magic is such a large part of so many cultures and our imaginations that sometimes it’s hard to deny that it might actually exist. When we were kids and first saw Mickey Mouse “borrow” Yen Sid’s hat to perform sorcery, it was a truly magical moment. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a sorcerer? I know that I’d love to be able to command the magical elements of the universe by waving my hands about, causing nature to bend to my will. While I can’t do real magic, Harmonix and Disney Interactive have managed to create something that certainly makes me feel like I do, thanks to the Kinect for the Xbox One or the Xbox 360 consoles. Their recent release, Fantasia: Music Evolved (which they sent us to review) is definitely a magical game that will not only have you waving your hands around and enjoying yourself immensely – it will also have you tapping your toes to they rhythm!