Game Diary

Mass Effect 2: Video Game Soundtrack Review

I recently reviewed the full soundtrack for Dragon Age: Origins, and a large part of my criticism was that it wasn’t a great value – it released well after the game was out, and suddenly made folks who paid for a ‘deluxe’ version aware that the ‘Soundtrack’ they got was really a sampler. Now the Mass Effect 2 Soundtrack has arrived, how does this one measure up, both musically and as an overall value?

Neverwinter Nights (2002, RPG): The Netbook Gamer

Neverwinter Nights is a RPG based on the Dungeons and Dragons rules developed and published by Bioware in 2002. Since then it has been patched, expanded, enhanced, gotten loads of community extensions, and patched some more, and remains a favorite game for module developers and multiplayer gamers alike. But is it something for the netbook gamer? Read on for my review of this RPG classic with a special look at how the original game and all of the commercial expansions play on a netbook.

Mass Effect 2: Video Game First Impressions

On January 26th, one of the most anticipated games of 2009 (before it was delayed) arrived – Bioware’s Mass Effect 2. The original was released for the XBOX360 in late 2007 and for the PC in early 2008, and was met with huge critical and commercial success. Before it was released the game was already planned as a trilogy, so gamers have been eagerly awaiting this sequel. I’ve been playing for several hours and wanted to give some first impressions. Oh, and if you are wondering about the image above, suffice it to say that it is seldom a good…

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars iPhone Game Review

Image courtesy of TechShout So I have written about the announcement of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (GTA:CW fro now on) arriving on the App Store, and of the issues running it on the first-gen iPod Touch. Now I’ve played it, and am ready to review it and let you know how it plays!

Dark Nebula for iPhone/Touch Review

Labyrinth style games are nothing new to the iPhone.  You know the games where a ball or marble rolls on the screen and is controlled by tilting the phone like it is a table.  This style of games are fun, but are usually the same.  Move the ball around avoiding the holes and reach the end of the maze.  Dark Nebula takes this idea, puts a fresh, futuristic style and adds a new class of obstacles.  As the developer puts it, “it’s like a labyrinth game but on steroids.”  Check out the review after the break.

Totemo for iPhone/Touch App Review

In my weekly search for the next Blue Plate Special, I search through the iTunes rankings and search newly released apps.  I try several apps before deciding on one that is worthy of the Blue Plate tag.  This week, my wife, (who never pays much attention to my weekly search) told me she had an app for me for the Blue Plate Special.  It seems that Totemo has caught the attention of every free moment of her time.  For a week or so she has been fiddling with her iPhone while she stands in the kitchen, while I was shopping…

Zlider for iPhone/Touch App Review

Through my search of Blue Plate applications I have learned two things.  First, there are some great games and apps available for $.99 or less.  Second, well executed simple design makes for a better app than one who tries to throw in the kitchen sink.  Zlider falls into this category.  The gameplay is a simple concept, but with plenty of challenge and nice graphics they present a really fun game. Guide the little meteoroid through the galaxy and prevent him from colliding with the walls of blue and red stars. You need a bunch of coordination skills with this game…

Traffic Rush for iPhone/Touch App Review

We are all feeling the financial pinch!    Blue Plate Special is a weekly review of bargain apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Nothing over $.99. Anyone who drives in the city knows the frustrations of a busy intersection.  How great would it be to get rid of the stop light and control the traffic on your own?  Take control over a busy intersection from above with the addictive game Traffic Rush.  The game is currently the top ranked free app in iTunes and will provide some traffic relieving fun for the passing gamer. The object of Traffic Rush is…

iAssociate Lite for iPhone/Touch App Review

I have begun to like playing puzzle games, especially word games.   Maybe I am getting old, but games that require thought have become more fun for me.  I have reviewed many different types of puzzle games, including several word games but iAchieve has turned out to be not only fun and addictive but very unique.  One of my Sophomore students showed me iAchieve Lite and told me I must try it because she thought I would love it.  She was correct!  I was instantly addicted.

iFarm for iPhone/Touch App Review

Attention Farmville and FarmTown fans!  Many of us spend way too much time on Facebook.  If much of that time is spent on one of these farm simulation games, do I have an app for you!  This summer I did fall into the Farm Town trap and spent (wasted) a lot of time harvesting and planting crops in hopes to buy more stuff and a larger piece of land.  Yes, there is no point, but for some reason it is extremely addicting.  So, how about taking this addicting waste of time mobile!?! iFarm will give you the chance!

Orba for iPhone/Touch App Review

My gaming tastes are either changing, or I have become a simple person in my older age.  It seems the flurry of simple puzzle games not only entertain me, but also keep me addicted to the small bursts of gaming time I have.  Orba is a simple screen clearing game.  The premise is simple and has been seen in several games.  Tap chains of three or more orbs in an attempt to clear the board.

Real Racing GTI for iPhone/Touch App Review

Before deciding this is not an interesting gaming option because it is the Lite version, read this review.  You may be surprised on what you find!  I have to admit I am usually not a fan of lite versions of paid apps, but this game is different.  One reason is Firemint has teamed up with Volkswagen to bring this game as an introduction of the new 2010 GTI.  Yes, the game is basically a commercial for the new GTI, but this also means it is a really nice version of the $4.99 Real Racing game for free!

Sudoku (Free) for iPhone/Touch App Review

Sudoku is a terribly addictive number puzzle game.  The object is to fill in 9×9 grid using numbers 1 through 9 as well as filling them into a 3×3 region with no numbers repeating in rows or columns.  Before the iPhone days, I was hooked on sudoku playing the puzzles on with pencil and paper.  I even used to carry around a little sudoku puzzle book in my bag so I could play when there was a spare moment.  My sudoku play tends to attempt to work quickly and I rarely stop before finishing a puzzle.  The iPhone has changed…

Skee-Ball for iPhone/Touch App Review

I recently took my oldest son and a few of his buddies to Incredible Pizza in San Antonio for his 5th birthday.  We started with the pizza of course, but the boys could hardly contain themselves just staring into the game room.  Once I let them hit the games, we headed straight for the skee-ball.  They decided tickets were what they were after so they could get some wax lips and parachute men, you know the good stuff.  I can think of no better way to earn tickets in a game room than play skee-ball.  The game has been one…

Gene Pool for iPhone/Touch App Review

From the developer: Playing pool is so 2008. Meet Gene Pool. Your goal is to keep your organism healthy by merging genes of the same color. Merged genes grow in size and will eventually disappear. Only energized cells can merge with other cells. How? By bouncing them up against walls ofcourse! *Gene Pool is your ideal travel companion. *Relaxing music. Zen style. Why hurry? *Win all possible achievements *Submit and retrieve localized scores *Uses Weave Connect technology developed by Sticky Studios *Improve your score with multiple wall-bounces and great accuracy. *Destroy viruses that attack your largest genes

Nano Rally for iPhone Update – a Whole New Game

I recently reviewed Nano Rally for the Blue Plate Special.  The game showed promise with great graphics and a cute idea.  There were a few things that I thought could be improved upon.  The controls and camera view were not very intuitive and took a lot of practice to master.  This turned me off to the game because my frustration level advanced faster than my driving skills.  I also wanted other cars on the track to  chase and race.  Well, the developers at Sauce Digital seemed to have listened to their users and recently updated the game. Here is a…

Connected for iPhone/Touch App Review

Puzzle games have become a staple in the app store lately.  Creating something that is new, challenging and fun has become more difficult.  Connected steps in as a contender in the puzzle game category. The idea of Connected is simple.  Take the pipe pieces and connect the start and finish pieces.  Sounds easy right? From the developer: Connected is simple idea, each of the 40 puzzles contains a number of pipe pieces.  At the edge of the board are some start and end points.  You just have to move the pieces to create a continuous pipe from start to finish, oh and you…

Yahoo! Fantasy Football ’09 for iPhone/Touch Review

Last week the Blue Plate Special was an app to get us through our fantasy drafts.  I used the app to help me make decisions as well as keep track of the entire draft.  It was much better than trying to find players on paper lists and scratching them off. Game on, wherever you are. Log in from your phone, and manage your team when you’re mobile. Add or drop players, check their stats and see the match-ups from any team in the league. Sign up for StatTracker® on your PC, and get up-to-the-minute stats on game day, on your phone….

ESPN Fantasy Football Draft Kit 2009

It is that time of the year again!!!  My football season is in full swing and we won our first game of the year 40-7.  The NFL is finally winding up the pre-season and NCAA begins this week.  The only thing else we need is fantasy football!!!  For those of you who have never played fantasy football, it can become a true addiction!  The Beaver Bowl III (my league) has its draft party tonight!  Each of us come with our own tools to ensure the best draft possible.  So, the iPhone guy on staff must have an app for that,…

Nano Rally Review for iPhone/Touch

The idea of racing a tiny car around the kitchen table or other environments sounds like a really fun concept.  I have been a huge fan of racing games my entire gaming life, but have not found the iPhone to be a great platform for these games.  Nano Rally was released just over a week ago and adds a cheap and interesting twist on the driving genre. Nano Rally is a cute and attractive game.  The idea is fun and the tracks have a ton of obstacles.  This game has lots of potential, but there are issues (some of which…

Wild West Pinball for iPhone Review

How many of you miss those days of pumping quarter after quarter into a pinball machine chasing the high score?  Granted, I did come from the era of crazy new style pinball games, but many of my quarters skipped the video games and found a home in the pinball machines.  Wild West Pinball just became free to celebrate a new pinball game from OOO Gameprom. Once the game is loaded a nice 3D video provides a tour of the scoring and special areas.  Before playing you might check this out so you know where to aim or shots.  The graphics…