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Review: LEGO Batman

I won't lie to you: I'm a huge Batman fan. A Bat-freak, you might say. From collecting comics and watching The Animated Series ad infinitum to camping out for tickets to the midnight showing of new Bat-films (barring the Joel Schumacher travesties), if it's Batman, I'll give it a shot.

So great is my Batman fanaticism that I purposely skipped LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures in order to maintain my anticipation for LEGO Batman. The two properties may seem unrelated, but the truth is, I knew full well that despite all the Batman lore that Traveler's Tales would no doubt cram into a Gotham built brick by LEGO brick, taking in too much of the LEGO action game formula would kill Batman's fun factor quicker than a whiff of the Joker's deadly gas. As I predicted, LEGO Batman is immense fun -- if you can look past the LEGO formula's reoccurring flaws that should have been fixed after the first LEGO Star Wars.

Gallery: LEGO Batman

Continue reading Review: LEGO Batman

Zero Punctuation: Army of Two is ripped a new one

This week in the land of sarcastic game reviews with few pauses, Yahtzee targets the recently released Army of Two. Choosing to firmly grasp the obvious humor immediately, the review starts of with the expected bromance jokes, and then moves to the horribly cliched story, the poor AI and the lack of QA. As is custom with Zero Punctuation, there is substance behind the speed, and Yahtzee touches on some important gameplay and genre topics. But hey you don't listen to Zero Punctuation for the quality analysis, but rather the quality humor. As is the case with Zero Punctuation, the video can be found after the break, and is not safe for those of you at work.

Continue reading Zero Punctuation: Army of Two is ripped a new one

Halo 3: X3F review

It's not often that we here at X3F get a chance to review a high profile title like Halo 3 before it hits store shelves, and it's an opportunity I'm not taking lightly. I've spent the last 48 hours (give or take a few hours for the requisite food and sleep) embedded deep within Halo 3, doing my best to categorize the experience as I went along. In this endeavor I have more or less failed. That's not to say I didn't enjoy what I played, because I absolutely did. It's just that with as many features as there are in Halo 3, there's so much stuff to test that 48 hours really isn't enough time to glean enough information and condense it into a review. Still, review it we must. Read on for a (hopefully) defining glimpse into Microsoft's great green hope.

Gallery: Halo 3

Continue reading Halo 3: X3F review

X3F review: Puzzle Fighter HD

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is an interesting game. Unlike many puzzlers out there, Puzzle Fighter never spawned any sequels (despite the "II" in the title, only one game was created). Then again, as any Puzzle Figher fan could tell you, there really wasn't any need. Puzzle Fighter was just about perfect, truly incorporating the fighting mechanic into its core gameplay, rather than simply cashing in on the successful Steet Fighter franchise and the arguably less successful Darkstalkers franchise. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix brings the game to XBLA along with a few changes and gameplay modes that never saw the light of day outside of Japan. Does the game hold up after all these years? Oh, hell yes.

Continue reading X3F review: Puzzle Fighter HD

The Darkness gets reviewed and it's good

Fresh out of hell's oven is the first review for upcoming 360 release The Darkness and word on the street is that it's actually good. 1UP posted the first review and gave the game a whopping 9.0 out of a possible 10. They felt that the presentation, the look, the gameplay and overall incorporation of the Darkness features (tentacles and all) were very polished and fun. As the saying goes, "it just works". Completing the game will take an average of ten or so hours, but 1UP feels that players can easily get distracted by messing around with the physics engine or taking advantage of the game's down times by roaming the city. The only drawback to the game is its somewhat gimmicky multiplayer, which developer Starbreeze even admits shouldn't be taken too seriously. Overall, we're impressed by how much 1UP was impressed by the game and will be patiently watching metacritic for more reviews to hit the internet. Who knows, The Darkness could actually be a solid game.

[Thanks, intRvenous]

IGN UK rates Overlord; Verdict: Impressive

IGN UK got their hands on the retail build of Overlord, and have given the game its rounds and came back with a nice review, scoring an 8.1 . Those who liked the demo will be happy to hear that the cool experiences had in that initial level continue on through the game, with capabilities of having 50 minions on screen with no slow down. Their only gripes, gameplay wise, was that it appears to require backtracking in order to summon particular minions for their specialties later on in a given level. They also felt the multiplayer felt "tacked-on" to the over all experience. So, if you want an advance look at what's coming your way later this month, click the "Read" link.

Tycho: Retro games shouldn't be reviewed

Sure, this may only be the fourth of the current comic streak for Xbox 360 related strips from Penny Arcade, but it definitely brings up a valid point that deserves discussion. Retro titles from our "mispent youth", as Peter Moore so elegantly put it, are usually somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15 to 25 years old. Sure, they may get reskinned with some extra pixels per sprite, but the vast majority are the same game they were when they were on early consoles or in cabinets. Should they be treated the same by reviewers as retail games, or should the fact that these are pieces of gaming history give them a little grace? After all, if you don't like retro titles, haven't played the original game, or didn't enjoy the title, you could always not buy it.

Tetris Evolution video review featuring a giraffe

Gamertag Radio's Godfree put together a video review of the newly released 360 title Tetris Evolution. Their review (embedded above) features achievement talk and gameplay footage showcasing a four player showdown, beautiful clouds, and one hungry giraffe. Black tongues rock! From what we see, Tetris Evolution looks to be simple, colorful, customizable, and takes advantage of full Xbox Live integration. Is it worth $30? That's for you to decide, but this is definitely one of the prettiest Tetris games to date.

Homecourt on 360 beats PS3's visuals

Game Informer's March issue's review of the cross platform, 1080p native basketball game NBA Street: Homecourt makes a comparison in the graphics department between the two consoles. They clearly state that while the game looks stunning regardless, the Xbox 360 edges out the PS3. Similar results can be found for the PS3 review of F.E.A.R. in the very same issue. So, those are two games that go in Xbox 360's favor, but we'll have to see how things go as future cross-platform games release. In most cases, the games will probably be nearly identical, and it will be up purely to your personal preference, give or take $200. What upcoming multi-platform games are you curious about the comparisons for?

[Thanks, Jonah]

IGN's broken 360, cardboard coffin reviewed

It happens to the best of them, each curvacious white box having so much potential and so much to offer in its lifetime. But sometimes their life is tragically cut short for no particular reason, especially those first pioneers. IGN recently had to say goodbye to their broken Xbox 360 (a 2005 version at that) and chronicled the emotional journey they faced. A poem was written, the processed was journaled, and the cardboard coffin box came in the mail. And leave it to IGN to write a full review of the official coffin of the 360 ... you know, just in case you have to go through the process. We send IGN our prayers in hopes that they come to peace with the loss and accept a new Xbox 360 member into their gaming family.

[Thanks, Jonah]

Fuzion Frenzy 2 gets reviewed and spit on

TeamXbox received an early copy of Fuzion Frenzy 2 and decided to pull an all-nighter reviewing the party game goodness. They came away less than impressed, giving it an overall score of 6.6. But we have to ask, why? We have yet to get our hands on the game, but after looking at why they gave it such a horrible score it doesn't look justifiable. 6.5 in the gameplay category because they felt that "eighty percent of the included games are fun. The other twenty percent are just plain difficult to play and uninteresting" ... that equates to an 8.0 in our ratings book. We're thinking that if you liked the original Fuzion Frenzy then the sequel will more than satisfy your party game hunger. Make the jump for the review, but we're holding off our judgments until we get some hands on time.

IGN reviews Lost Planet

IGN got their chilly little mitts on Capcom's Lost Planet and came away feeling pretty satisfied. In IGN's review they felt Lost Planet's graphics were on par with what was expected (especially the billowy smoke) and they loved the variety of enemies, but a few things missed their radar of perfection. Negatives included controls that were sometimes awkward or loose, average audio, and the storyline not making much sense. Multiplayer was implemented well, but still suffers from the same awkward controls found in the campaign. In the end IGN gave Lost Planet a respectable 8.5 out of 10 making it a pretty darn good game. Also, be sure to check out their video review if you have something against reading ... but then why would you be reading this blog?

X360F Review: XFPS - KB & Mouse on 360

Allowing the use of a keyboard and mouse (or a Dual Shock) on the Xbox 360, the XFPS has created quite a stir here at 360 Fanboy. Hailed by PC using FPS fans as a godsend and decried by proponents of an equal playing field, it's a potentially controversial piece of hardware. When it comes to first person shooters, the advantages of a mouse and keyboard over a control pad cannot be denied, but is it fair for certain 360 players to have a distinct advantage over others? It's an interesting question, but ultimately the answer lies in how well the XFPS actually performs. We put the unit through its paces and see what it's worth.

Continue reading X360F Review: XFPS - KB & Mouse on 360

X360F review: RoboBlitz

has had a lot going for it from day one. Since it was first announced, it was something special. Oddly enough, the hype surrounding RoboBlitz had little to do with gameplay, but rather the fact that the game uses Unreal Engine 3. Of course, that's a huge claim coming from an Xbox Live Arcade title that has a mandatory size cap of 50 MB. RoboBlitz's other major bullet point was physics driven gameplay. According to Tian Mu, co-founder of RoboBlitz devs, Naked Sky, every element of gameplay is driven by physics, right down to character animation. All in all, RoboBlitz was trumpeted as a game that could redefine the retro-friendly Xbox Live Arcade. We spent a good week playing RoboBlitz, delving into its physics, killing baddies, and, ultimately, finding out if it lives up to its promise.

Continue reading X360F review: RoboBlitz

Metareview: Viva PiƱata

Microsoft's Pokémon inspired children's title, Viva Piñata has finally hit the market and is picking up some reviews. Most of the reviews are very positive, though some note that Viva Piñata probably won't satisfy the twitch-happy Gears of War crowd. Then again, it's not really designed for action fans, though many reviews are claiming that it's actually very complex. Sitting somewhere between The Sims and Animal Crossing, Viva Piñata is performing admirably. It currently has an average of 85 on Metacritic.
  • Gamespot (8.3/10) - "It oozes charm and personality from its every papier-mâché-covered pore. While it's accessible enough for those with very little gaming experience (and their children), it also has enough depth to keep any of you with a Pokemon-style "gotta catch 'em all" mentality--or perhaps a penchant for gardening--entertained for many hours."
  • IGN (8.5/10) - "... it seems like a serious oversight to not include the ability to show off your garden in some way to your friends. Here is a game where you spend all of your time cultivating and shaping your garden space -- and you can't show it to anybody on Live. The only way for them to see it is to be right next to you."
  • 1UP (9/10) - "Rare has certainly recaptured its former glory here, and in producing one of the most misunderstood games of the year, it has also produced one of the finest in its history, and certainly one of the most intriguing on 360. To dismiss it as "just for kids" would be foolish. You are not too cool to enjoy this game."
1UP wasn't the only review to share the ironic sentiment that Viva Piñata -- a franchise specifically designed to rake in your kids' cash -- is one of the best Rare games in years. Will Microsoft's famous investment finally pay off?

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