Imagine if you took the mythos from The Legend of Zelda, threw it into a pot, and then amped it up by combining it with essence of Gauntlet; then you reduced it over the fire of action – kaboom! Welcome to Hyrule Warriors, an all-action, all-crazy jamboree that dishes out plenty of enemies for you to dish it out to. Be clear: this game will not really present too much of a challenge to savvy players – but it doesn’t need to because it’s hella fun to win the day by beating the snot out of everyone with a giant sword. Omega Force and Team Ninja have hit one out of the park (many times over) for Zelda fans.
For those of us that used to dump quarters into arcade machines at the mall or the corner store, there are some games that will always stand the test of time. These sorts of games are priceless, and they followed us home from the arcade and hung out with us in our living rooms and family rooms on the early consoles. One of these timeless classics is Gauntlet (1985), which could, within the space of an hour (or less), reinforce and/or erode even the strongest of friendships – and yet, we would go back for more every chance we got. With the “reboot” of Gauntlet, Arrowhead Game Studios seems to be trying to be many things to many people by modifying the original formula – but does this new version retain the same amount of fun as the original?
Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive is a trip and a half. There’s no other way to neatly sum up the game better than that. This Xbox One exclusive is familiar enough in its control scheme to be accessible and fun, while dazzling you with its over-the-top colour palette, engaging characters, fantastically odd story, and its never-ending self-referential humour. If you own an Xbox One, enjoy having irreverent fun, and have a pair of sunglasses handy, grab yourself a copy of this game and make sure that you have plenty of energy drinks on hand so that you can get crazy!
There is nothing quite like piloting a quadricopter. Parrot’s AR Drone 2.0 is a lot of fun to fly – but for a good number of people, it’s hard to justify the purchase, as it is a little expensive. It also makes some people nervous; even though it comes with a protective shell for indoor use, it’s relatively large, making it an intimidating prospect to play with inside one’s house – especially for beginners. Thankfully, Parrot has another option for those people who are jonesing for a chance to play with a remote-controlled helicopter without breaking the bank (or that vase you got as a gift from your aunt Betty): the Rolling Spider.
Last year, the Thumbs homestead purchased an Eton Scorpion Windup/Solar Radio to be used when camping. Inclement weather is always a concern when we go into the wild, and while there is little we can do to control the heavens, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for what may be coming one’s way. The unit came in handy when the ice storm hit Toronto at the end of the year, as well; when the power went out, we had a way to keep tabs on things (radio) as well as the ability to see at night (flashlight). It is a purchase that we did not regret. Champ, makers of emergency-preparedness gear, also have a similar product called the Survival LightStick (which they sent us to review). Like the Scorpion, the tool has many functions, and while the LightStick lacks a carabiner-style clip, it has a few more features that make it an invaluable companion to have on hand – especially in emergencies.
A few months ago I reviewed Linksys’ beast of a new router, the WRT1900AC. In that review I had mentioned that the router was stackable, saving the valuable real estate. Linksys has launched its new 8-port gigabit switch, and while all of the competition is moving to physically smaller switches, Linksys is bucking the trend and actually went bigger in the name of aesthetics and symmetry. Let the stacking commence!
Nerf has been around for a while, bringing a soft side to fantasy-battle play with their foam dart blasters. Nerf has upped their game recently with the N-Strike Elite line, a surprisingly extensive series of dart-firing blasters. The latest model in the lineup, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1 Blaster, is what I like to call “the cavalry”. Firing both rubber-tipped foam darts and missiles, this battery-powered blaster is a show-stopper.