Author: Jason Karney

Chimes Review

Ringing… Ringing…

Chimes Screenshot

HIGH Ah, the soothing sound of windchimes… how relaxing!

LOW Doesn't seem long on its legs.

WTF It's not a flashy game, but I think App Store reviewers are awfully harsh on such an inexpensive purchase. (Admittedly a common problem in the App Store.)

Haunted 3D Rollercoaster Rush Review

Swing Low, Ghoulish Chariot

Haunted 3D Rollercoaster Rush Screenshot

HIGH Look at that castle! That giant jack-o'-lantern! The moon!

LOW Aw man, I plummeted into a track again. Darn those vertical drops.

WTF I put the game down and I can still hear the background tune in my head.

Vertigo Review

Rolling the Ball (Rolling!). Them Heavy People…

Vertigo Screenshot

HIGH I was really happy to see a bowling mode included; this was a ton of fun for me in Super Monkey Ball.

LOW Why isn't the camera following my Xorb?

WTF What the hell kind of name is a Xorb, anyways?

Atlus Online hacked

For anyone who didn't see the news yesterday (4/24), the website of was hacked. As quoted in an article at G4, Atlus released a statement.

"Today (4/24/2009), our web domain ( was hacked and compromised. A third-party entity embedded malicious code into the script, and regretfully, for a period of a few hours (from roughly 9:00am PST until 2:30pm PST), this malicious software (which we believe we have identified as a Trojan) may have made its way onto your systems.

We advise any and all of our fans, whether they visited our website or not in the past day or two, to protect their computers with anti-virus software and to run malware removal software on their systems to ensure that their security is not compromised."

I know some of our viewers are Atlus fans, so I am posting this in case anyone missed it.

Mitsurugi from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3

Twittter users, watcha’ playin’?

Twitter LogoIf you're a member of Twitter, stop by and shout out what you're playing using #gcplay.

Just post a tweet mentioning your current game(s) of choice (and any pithy thoughts you can squeeze in). Be sure to include the hash tag "#gcplay". Optionally you can direct it to @gamecritics by including that as well.

Then, anyone who wants to see what readers are playing, can search for the #gcplay tag.

If you're newer on Twitter, a "hash tag" is a way to group posts of interest, creating informal twitter categories or communities. Twitter allows you to do a search, and by searching with a hash tag you can find all posts for that tag.

You can save searches as well, so in this case if you search for #gcplay and then save it, you can later see what the community is playing with a single click.

A sample tweet might be:

@gamecritics Playing Sega Genesis Collection for PS3, and still trying to complete Eternal Sonata. #gcplay

Helix Review

It’s Dance Dance Revolution for my hands


HIGH My standout tune: “Battle for Planet Earth” by Tokyo Robot Gangsters.

LOW Disappointment that there isn’t much variety beyond the core game.

WTF I could half-heartedly wiggle the Wiimote and still score.

Animal Crossing: City Folk, a new subtitle, same basic game

Deja vu?!

Animal Crossing: City Folk is the new Wii version of the hit game Animal Crossing. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the US-original Gamecube (GCN) version of Animal Crossing, and in fact, I just checked in on my town a couple of months ago. (Sadly, one of my original residents decided to move out, after several years of residence. I was surprised to say the least!)

The new City Folk appears to be a refinement of the series. It looks like a smoother version of Animal Crossing (GCN) modified with some features from Wild World (the DS iteration). Notably, terrain is on a curved surface instead of being flat, Copper runs the gate to the outside world tucked into a northern cave, the sky has constellations and I believe accessories are available.

LittleBigPlanet beta, hard work for a little bit of fun

Little Big Planet - sackpeople skateboard

I got my greedy paws on a key for the Little Big Planet (LBP) beta, which I had the opportunity to play over the last weekend. All in all, I'd have to say… not bad. (Bonus points if you know the movie in which Lisa Luder said those words.)

"Not bad." Which is not the praise that Sony and Playstation 3 owners everywhere would like too see bestowed upon this key video game, a unique entry and selling point as we go into the fourth quarter of 2008.

Although I had mixed feelings during my time with the beta, it was after discussing them with (our very own) Brad that they solidified into something I could concretely describe. Is LBP a game I want to spend $60 and countless hours of my limited free time exploring? I'm a generally creative guy. I like to sing, write music, draw or write in my free time. (Depending on my artistic mode and inertia at any given moment.) This game initially spoke to me as a good outlet to make things that I can share with the PS3-owning world. Yet after playing the beta for a while, I have some doubts.

Soul Calibur IV Review

The tale eternally retold… with more muscles, mammaries and licensed characters

Read review of Soul Calibur IV

HIGH I'm not what you'd call a Star Wars fanboy, although I grew up with the series. However, whoom-ing a lightsaber while playing as a menacing Darth Vader was a strangely satisfying experience. Did I mention that Darth Vader is cool (PlayStation 3 only)?

LOW Realizing that I'd rather be playing Soul Calibur I or II, where the characters flowed slightly faster (in my memory) and there were more interesting learning/adventure modes.

WTF I miss the days of non-hulking characters. Kilik and Ivy are seriously bulked, in their respective fashions. And Ivy is beginning to remind me of a drag queen.