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Sep 28

When reviewing a Star Wars game, it is very difficult to review being completely unbiased. By that I mean – depending on how true a game is to the Star Wars franchise it is easy to inflate the rating, or conversely – if the game is a bit too far fetched for the Star Wars universe it is almost without a second of after thought that it is fed to the sharks and put completely out of mind. That being said, my initial reaction to playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (on Xbox 360) was inflate – I have to say the story is very genuine and doesn’t feel like a poorly manufactured tale was woven together just trying to make bank on the Star Wars cash cow. However, even at only 30 minutes into the game I began to see some pretty unfortunate flaws. Right away you’ll notice how easy the game is (I beat the game on Sith Warrior difficulty) – the automatic deflecting of laser bolts feels a little cheap though admittedly I really don’t see many other ways to correct that on the 360. You’ll also notice that your light saber will make quick work of any droid slicing them in half like butter – however, when dealing with actual life forms your light saber functions more like a light baseball bat and you really just are beating the hell out of your enemies until they eventually die, perhaps out of boredom. The cut scene boss battles leave you feeling a bit cheated as with the simple push of a button you are delivering the ‘coup de grace’ to your enemy that you had to senselessly bash your way through entire drones of light saber immune bastards just to get there. SWTFU is however an awesome display of power for the 360, the game is rendered amazingly in full 1080P HD, I cannot even imagine sacrificing the resolution to play it on the Wii (I will try to play this on Wii though to be fair) – what the game does absolutely right is tell a great story that fits in with the current 6 films in between episode 3 and 4 and also explains how some Jedi managed to escape the dreaded clone attacks. For what it’s worth the Force Unleashed is pretty decent game. It won’t be in my list for game of the year 2008 but certainly will not get too dusty in the collection. I definitely recommend renting it for everyone, and for the die hard Star Wars; fans dive into your pockets and fork over the money – it looks like Georgie Boy didn’t get his hands into this one to ruin it.  When you get to the end you get to make a decision on dark side or light side – either choice effects the outcome of the story.  (Check youtube for spoilers for the opposite of your decision unless you want to play through again, which unless you’re a achievement point junky you probably will not do)

Rating Scale 1 being bad 10 being perfect.

Graphics: (8.5)
Story: (8.5)
Game Play: (7)
Music/Sound: (8.5)
Replay Factor: (6)
Overall Rating: (7.5)

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Sep 25

Game Seers: Sub Episode XI.007

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Shortly after the release of Episode 11 Ryan remembers something very important and decides to release a sub episode!

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Sep 25

In this week’s episode the Game Seers talk a lot about the Force Unleashed – good bad and ugly (a lot of ugly) – as well as some thoughts on Pure for the 360.  Jeff and Ryan agree Mega Man 9 on the Wii’s Virtual Console is the most difficult game of all time and our new resident PC gamer Mike Frangione stops by to give his thoughts on Spore as well as the Socom beta that is out.  We also discuss the TV series Lost.

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Sep 21

In this Sub-Episode of Game Seers Ryan digs up an old treasure and finds a prank phone call he made to Nintendo about 3 years ago as a disgruntled NES owner named Chet – but with an unwaveringly allegiance to Nintendo and thirst for Bill Gate’s blood.

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Sep 18

In this week’s episode the Game Seers discus the wildly addicting viva pinata resulting in Aaron being annoyed. A discussion on the potential best game of 2008 brings up a talk about Grand Theft Auto 4, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Super Smash Brothers: Brawl. Lastly they take a brief trip down memory lane winding time back to the early 90s when their Nintendo Game Boys were their true best friends. Strap in for this week’s episode!

Sep 12

Box Art for Original SNES game

The year was 1996 – the summer Olympics were to be held  in Atlanta, Ga – and a then 10 year old Ryan Kenward was about to discover one of the most amazing games of his life up to that point.  Being a proud SNES owner in a time where my friends were getting their PlayStations complete with 32-bit graphical eye candy, I was starting to think that perhaps the SNES ship had begun to sink.  Much to my excitement I remember seeing an article in a Nintendo Power Magazine about a little game called Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – not knowing what the hell RPG meant I was excited as hell nonetheless.  I never owned this game, but I spent my allowance renting it several times.  Needless to say, it was a breath of relief that my SNES had not yet met it’s untimely demise and that perhaps I had another year or two until all of my friends had their PlayStations and I would be laughing when I had the “Nintendo Dolphin” — later known as N64.

Simply put, Super Mario RPG was quite a feat at the time of its release.  Now years later available in the Wii’s virtual console library I can say it is no less satisfying to play now than it was over 12 years ago.  The game starts out like all Mario games preceding it, Princess Peach has once again been kidnapped by Bowser (If I knew about restraining orders at 10 years old I may have suggested she get one) – like always, our hero Mario sets out to rescue her battling with Bowser on chandeliers held up by chomps.  After a quick battle with Bowser, Mario jumps up to reach the Princess.  His victory is short lived as a badass sword crashed into Bowser’s castle launching all three in different directions.  Mario just happens to wind up at his home (lucky shot) – and from there sets out on his initial adventure of saving our damsel in distress.  Mario is joined by a puffy humanoid with a frog complex named Mallow in the mushroom kingdom.  Their adventure leads them all over the three dimensional world through a roadway of bandits, a sewer full of baddies, a forest with some pissed off caterpillars, a sunken ship and much more!  Mario assembles a chain gang of cronies consisting of some familar faces (Princess Peach and Bowser join his forces) – along with Mallow and Geno (a guardian of the star road)  Mario and company must recover the star pieces to reassemble the Star Road (as seen in Super Mario World [SNES]) so people’s wishes can come true again and also defeat the big sword suck in Bower’s keep named Smithy.
Graphically and in my opinion, Super Mario RPG is one of the strongest shows of the SNES’ capabilities.  It integrated animated turn style combat systems, a plethora of interesting levels, and unique characters all rendered in impressive 3D for that time in video gaming.

Like all Mario games, catchy tunes are omnipresent throughout the entire game.  A quick youtube search for Super Mario RPG turns up tons of song parodies to the game’s main theme.  One of the many reasons the SNES was better than the Sega Genesis was the sound capability – it is clearly demonstrated in Super Mario RPG.

There are several hours of game play involved, and even after you beat the game it is still fun to pop into it occasionally and look for hidden chests or just fight some bad guys just for fun.  Super Mario RPG is game that has excellent replay value; the entire journey through is equally as fun the second and third time.

All in all – the 800 wii points ($8.00) is most definitely worth it to play this classic game.  Whether it is the first time playing, or a nostalgic return to a great game – Super Mario RPG will not disappoint!

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9.5
Fun Level: 9.5

Overall Rating: 9.5

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Sep 10

Aaron, Ryan, Jeff and Kyle discuss some of their all time favorite games on basically every console; a light hearted talk about the death(?) of Kim Jong Il; the Dark Knight; holding your Wii (or Pii) for wayyyy too long; Call of Duty 4 (like always) – all in all, another week in Game Seertopia.

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Sep 03

In this episode Aaron and Ryan are joined by two new game Seers, Kyle and Jeff as well as a return appearance from Joe Wesolowski. Kyle and Jeff discuss their top 3 favorite games though Joe thinks Morrowind sucks. Technical difficulties ravage the Game Seers, still hilarity ensues. Join us for this weeks episode! Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes!

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Sep 03

After putting out the request looking for a new co-host we received replies from a few very qualified individuals.  It was too difficult to pick just one so we decided to bring in 2 new hosts – without further delay I would like to announce our new hosts, Kyle Baron and Jeff Derrickson – who I am confident will be excellent additions!  In the upcoming episodes our listeners can expect more in depth conversations about a wider range of games and a more diverse opinion pool.  Additionally you can expect the occasional guest to drop in and share as well.  We’re still committed first and foremost to your entertainment!  Episode VIII will be released next week – please stay tuned.  Also the forums are online so come join us!
Ryan

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