Friday, 14 November 2008

Smackdown vs Raw 2009 Review - (Xbox 360)

Over the last few years wrestling games have pretty much just came from one source, least for Western countries anyway, and that was the WWE smackdown games, made by THQ. Now with TNA releasing a game a few months back which has the potential to become a serious threat, THQ have decided to layeth the smacketh down on Midway with Smackdown vs Raw 2009.

Im an avid wrestling fan, and in the last few years I have been really disappointed with the Smackdown series, because they often make very few updates each year, much like FIFA until recently. Just like EA however, THQ have added quite a few updates this year, which have led to some really good bits, and some stupid bits as well.

First off is the roster, while they can never get an up to date roster as someone always leaves or gets fired, it’s still a lot of wrestlers this year, but this doesn’t make that much of a difference because more often than not, most will never be used by one person. The usual story mode has been updated to 2 different parts. Road to Wrestlemania follows one of 6 stories with 7 wrestlers, and you progress through it like any other story mode game. The storylines are better than their WWE real life ones, so why they were never used I don’t know, would certainly make better TV. Career mode has replaced the general manager mode, something which many people enjoyed last few years. Basically you’re picking a wrestler then fighting opponents to gain up ratings, once you reach a high enough rating you challenge for a title. Then repeat over and over again. Its tiresome and boring after 5 minutes, and is the only way right now to boost up stats for a created wrestler, which can take 10 hours just to get them up halfway.

Game play has been left virtually untouched. Replacing the awful modifiers last year, are the better system of abilities, which include dirty pin, springboard moves, kip up, possum pin and more. Broadening the abilities from last year means that there’s more strategy involved in choosing a wrestler for certain match types. A ladder match suits a wrestler who has the ladder match ability as they can reach the belt faster and take it off its hinge. When a wrestler has full momentum, they may store it to keep for a signature move, of which just like finishers, there are 2 of for each wrestler. This adds a bit more strategy as to when to go for a pin, especially during fatal 4 ways. Other good subtle features include changing the background music whenever you like at the touch of a button.

AI has been improved a tad, but it is still very easy to beat them, even on higher difficulty levels. You can still win a match in less than a minute in no problem. A typical match against the computer is basically, running grapple, stomp, mat grapple, stomp til they counter and get up, running grapple, stomp, mat grapple, stomp til they get up, kick to gut, finisher, pin. Online is pretty much the same with players rarely ever attempting strong moves and just sticking to small moves to win a match, but this has been going on since day 1.

But with every good thing THQ does every year, they seem to always take a step backwards at the same time. Take the new create a finisher mode. While it’s been desperately wanted for years, and while it is a welcome addition, it is rather limiting, and some of the damage some moves provide can kill a wrestler in one move without anything else being done to them. They have added a new match type, inferno, but removed buried alive. They have also removed the ever popular trading of created wrestlers, and as mention before, trying to up their stats is a boring process. There are also plenty of bugs, some of which THQ haven’t been bothered to fix since last year, including well known ones. One bug in the elimination chamber mode stops anyone from using the turnbuckles at all, something that wasn’t there from the beginning, so why is it there now?

It is a breath of fresh air for the franchise, while it still isn’t as good as the classic games of No Mercy or even Smackdown Here Comes the Pain, it’s getting there. Let’s see how midway do with the sequel to TNA impact, next year… hopefully if they aren’t dead by then.

Review by: William Stephen

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Mirror's Edge Review - (PS3)

Well, I was asked to review this game by the guys at Parental Guidance so I blew the dust off my PS3 and booted it up. Hmm, what’s this, cell shaded graphics? Oh man, please not another XIII style game. I was pleasantly surprised as it turns out only the cut-scenes are rendered in the cartoon style; the actual game play is the usual clean 3D style we’ve gotten used to over the last few years.

If you are into Parkour (Free Jumping), you’ll love this game. I however am not in the least bit interested in doing a rather poor impression of Batman by thrusting my body about town, so I didn’t find this game particularly appealing. To be honest though, when you are chased by Police or other enemies, I must say this is where the best element of the game comes out. Although the game is fairly linear in that you are on a fixed path, when you are being chased you do feel that you are thinking on your feet, looking for the next object you can jump to.

I don’t like giving away the story line in reviews, so I won’t here. However, the story behind the game feels fairly familiar; a kind of been there, done that sort of thing. The voice acting is crap, frankly.

The game is worth picking up and playing, but to be honest, the only game I will be playing on Friday 14th is Call of Duty 5. If this game was bundled with your console, or came in some other deal, you wouldn’t be disappointed, but I don’t think I will be spending £40 on it. As I said earlier, if you are into Parkour, you won’t be disappointed to find this in your Christmas stocking but for couch potatoes like me, it doesn’t hold much appeal.

Review by: Kai Gohegan

Want free console? Join Gametrailers!

This has been happening for a while now but I wanted to make sure this looked permanent. is a site that shows clips of games. By watching the videos you earn GTD, and the more videos you watch, the more GTD you receive. Now this used to be capped at 50 videos a day (though you can earn GTD from other methods such as posting blogs) but from my experience im receiving 50 GTD every 12 hours, maybe even less, which is 100 GTD a day.

If you did watch 100 videos a day, then within a year you would earn enough to get a DS lite, and less than 2 years for a free PS3, yes FREE. Who knows how long they'll keep it like this, but if you want to take advantage I suggest you do so now!

Sign up here! (Yes its a referral link, if you dont want to click it then click the first link.)

Article by: William Stephen

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Dead Space - A Second Opinion (Xbox 360)

As you may have gathered, we do things a little differently here at Parental Guidance. We all play games and we all have our own opinions, yet only one of us writes a review and usually they only focus on one format. We all still want to talk about a good game and we all play on different systems, so it is only fair that we tell you about the differences and thoughts we have on the game. Expect to see more 'second opinion' pieces about major or interesting titles on the site especially when important multi format games get released on several systems at once.

Today, I want to talk to you about Dead Space. We reviewed this recently on PS3 and gave it a 'Silver' award. I'm happy with that grading and as such I won't be challenging it. I did however, request the 360 version from EA so we could compare the versions and have a more open debate about the merits of the title.

Dead Space is a good game, yet it is only one of dozens out this Christmas so you might be wondering why I am bothering to come back to it when we have even more games to focus on in the near future. The answer is that at heart we are all fans of games and Dead Space whilst not perfect, is definitely individual and as fans, we wish to vent our opinions as much as you do.

So, what do I think of Dead Space? Well you already know I think it is good. What I haven't mentioned is how scary this damned game is. Resident Evil is no longer scary - I only jumped in a few sections (usually when regenerators were involved) in Resi 4 as it plays more like an action game these days. The regenerators were scary, but random village peasants were not. Fun to fight against yes, scary no. Dead Space takes survival horror back to basics and focuses on just one thing: Fear. There is no respite from it. Usually a horror game waits a few minutes before it throws monsters at you, giving you a tutorial and a gun before kicking you out of the plane. You don't get that in Dead Space. The introduction is all done with the in game engine and before you know it you are faced with monsters, but with no gun. Running for your life you will quickly appreciate how much this game WILL make you crap your pants.

I'm a grown man. I am 23 years old. I will only play this game in daylight. I imagine you will find this the case as well, unless you are so jaded by violence you no longer care. Whilst violent, (it's easier to kill enemies by sheer dismemberment and head shots do little in this game, to buck the trend) violence is not the focus here. Fear is. You are not a super powered space marine. There is no BFG to protect you. You are not empowered and you are most definitely vulnerable and alone.

The game-play could be described as similar to Resident Evil 4, but that's not really fair. Yes, the controls work the same and it is a 3rd person shooter, but Dead Space really is a totally different atmosphere. It's more like the GameCube Resident Evil 1 remake than any other Resident Evil title - fear is ever present and the entire focus of the game. Sure there is a tacked on romance sub plot but it really doesn't matter here. Sometimes the scares get predictable - you just know a corpse in a room is going to jump up and get you because that is the 'scariest' thing that could happen. This doesn't stop you tiptoeing around the corpse and hoping it won't jump up, so despite this predictability flaw you are still scared and in Dead Space, that's all that matters.

How does the 360 version stack up against the PS3 one? Strangely they are rather similar. Despite a history of inferior PS3 ports over the last few years EA seem to have nailed parallel game design on both systems. Games like Fallout 3 are often a lot worse on PS3 than 360 these days (just look at the lack of anti-aliasing on the PS3 version compared to the 360) and that goes back to the early days of the console war. The PS3 is not an inferior platform but it IS harder to program for and this shows often in any serious comparison with the same title. Even back at the start of the PS3's life cycle the port of Rainbow Six: Vegas told us we should be worried. It is good EA have actually taken this to hand and decided to do the right thing and put the extra effort into the PS3 version to keep it at almost the same quality as the 360 version, doing true justice to the PS3.

There are minor differences though. The Xbox 360 version does seem to be a little brighter than the PS3 version which can be good or bad, depending on if you prefer to see colour or nothing at all in your survival horror. The only real problem is the frame rate, which drops at times in both versions of the game but drops to a slightly lower level on the PS3 at times than the 360. This is only a small niggle but if you have both consoles I would have to recommend the 360 version over the PS3 one but only if you pushed me. Other than the lighting and frame rate, the games are practically identical. Whichever format you get it on, as long as you enjoy horror you will be scared and you will have fun.

To surmise: This game is basically fear incarnate, and very good on both platforms. If you think you can handle the scares this game throws at you, it is very much worth a purchase especially as it is a new franchise in a season full of sequels. If you don't enjoy being scared though, keep far away from this one. This is definitely not a game for children or people with weak hearts.

Article by: Edwin Jones

Super Obama World?

According to the BBC, Barack Obama has his own Super Mario style video game on the net.

"The game takes a satirical look at US politics, with Obama collecting flags and dodging lipstick-wearing pit bulls, lobbyists and Sarah Palin. "

You can play the game here. It isn't half bad either. If you've followed the recent american election you'll see alot of parodies and similarities to what happened during the election.

Article by William Stephen

The 5 types of people who play the Wi

Yes you read that right. There are five types of people who play the Nintendo Wii. You’re probably wondering if you’re on the list aren’t you? Well, the chances of us putting your name specifically down are rather slim. But if you play the Wii then you will no doubt fit into one of the categories. So which category do you fit into?


That’s right. Kids love a bit of the Wii. Not only does it have a silly name, but it gives them the opportunity to wave the Wiimote around like a deranged lunatic. The Wii is great for kids. It gives them numerous Ninty delights from Mario to Sonic and Mario, and all the mini game compilations under the rainbow. They can even play Manhunt 2 on it now.

Kids are not as bothered about First Person Shooters or online gaming. And they are too busy playing Carnival Funfair games to care about Little Big Planet. Nintendo rule the kids.

Games they are likely to play – Wii Sports, Mario Galaxy, Carnival Funfair Games, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Carnival Funfair Games, Rayman: Raving Rabbids, Manhunt 2.

The Old

Conversely, just as kids love the Wii just because it has a silly name and they can wave the remote around like a deranged lunatic, so does elderly peeps. Although, they don’t do it so quick, they don’t want to be playing up their Arthritis now.

But if you’re stupid enough to think that they are going to go buy and play the likes of Mario Galaxy, Zelda or Metroid Prime then you’re dumb enough to work for Sony’s marketing team. Nintendo know that if you show some elderly pecker some a bit of Wii sports, they they’ll be mimicking a Wimbledon Tennis OAP final in a matter of no time. And then have some strawberries and cream to celebrate. Not too much cream though, all that cream wouldn’t be too good for them.

That’s right, if they see a kid or a relative playing the Wii, then they’ll take over for an hour or two. Or maybe they’ll just steal it. Failing that, then they’ll just use their pension money to buy their own one. Nintendo are smart enough to know that by releasing something like Wii fit, oldies will lap it up. Messing about on that Wii fit bored is almost as good exercise as walking down the post office 4 hours before it opens to get their pension before anyone else.

Yes, to the elderly Wii fit is the answer to all their problems. Don’t expect them to buy much software though.

Games they are likely to play – Wii Sports, Wii Fit.

Non Gamers

Usually sheep who see the Wii as the new ‘in’ thing. It’s the new iPod, and its gaining more and more popularity. It’s a bit like a zombie film, where the outbreak begins with one or two people and then cascades into a horde of undead. Undead who are not unlike some of the sheep who like to pretend they are cool because they’ve ‘got a Wii’. They don’t even play the fucking thing except for when a friend comes round - and only then it's to show it off.

You see it works like this. A friend shows someone the Nintendo Wii, and they play a bit of Wii Sports and think ‘wow this is like really cool’ and go out and buy their own Nintendo Wii. But they don’t really play it, not until they have a friend come over, and then they show it off to that friend... Who thinks ‘wow this is like really cool’ and so they go out and buy a Wii, and show it to another one of their friends. And so on and so on until the Human race is ultimately doomed.

This also includes all the fatties that really do think Wii fit will help make them slim, when in reality they should be eating less burgers and getting some fresh air and exercise. Yes there are some fatties, sorry, ‘obese’ people who play videogames, but they are usually playing World of Warcraft. And everyone knows that World of Warcraft isn’t a real game.

Games they are likely to play – Wii Sports, Wii fit, some other game they happened to get free. So something a bit shit normally.

Nintendo Fanboys

These are often the bunch that really fuck you off. They can often be caught sprouting off shit like the graphics don’t matter, or that online gaming is just a phase. They will try and tell you how the Wii is the best because it offers you a new way to play games. Deep inside they may be just as bored and stopped playing it two months after getting it like everyone else. But they won’t admit it. They may also have an Xbox 360 hidden away so no-one knows.

They are happy that there is only a new AAA game every 100 years, as it gives them more time to play the last AAA game they bought.... (and no doubt stopped playing after a week or so). They also do not mind that the Wii is just a rebranded GameCube and are gullible enough to buy the same Nintendo games over and over again because Ninty are the best and everything else should be ashamed for not being made by Nintendo.

They probably brought a GameCube, in fact they probably brought two GameCube’s just to help out.

Games they are likely to play – 90% of all the games released on the Wii. May also own multiple copies of some games - especially Mario Galaxy.


You can’t escape without a whiff of pirates nowadays. And the Wii is not safe either, it’s highly pirated as is the Xbox 360. The PS3 isn’t though. Because no-one cares about the PS3. Not only can pirates download and play Wii games, but they can also download and play GameCube games and even all of the Virtual Console games for free as well.

There is a slight chance that Nintendo fanboys are also pirating Nintendo games. Although it’s pretty moot, as they end up buying a couple of the games they download as a way of saying sorry, and supporting Nintendo’s dominance. At least their fans are loyal, 360 fanboys couldn’t give a shit.

Games they are likely to play - Anything they can get their piratey mitts on.

So there you have it. If you’re not there, read it again and you’ll no doubt be able to place yourself somewhere. But if you can’t, that could be because you stopped playing the Wii a week after getting it once the novelty wore off and went back to your Xbox 360 instead. See you online laters.

Article By: Wesley Lock