Think of the Children

Think of the Children

Written by Dan Keener on 6/4/2008 for DS   PC   PS2   PS3   PSP   Wii   360  
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We’re back after a one week hiatus, and there are tons of titles that came across the ESRB’s rating system this week. Wii and PC dominated again, but the DS and PS3 were surprisingly light. The Wii is breaking out some classics and some of their cash cows. It was another mediocre week for the next-gen consoles, with the 360 firmly driving the bus. And last but not least, we have a title of shame that is sweet, yet leaves a bitter taste in your mouth at the same time.

Boy, the PC and Wii came back off the holiday week with a vengeance, combining for 37 of the 56 rated titles. Many are of the garden variety casual game, but there are some gems in there as well as some classic stuff coming to VC or Wii Ware. The PC saw a handful of Tom Clancy’s titles for PC get rated (RB6: Vegas, Splinter Cell Double Agent and GRAW: 2), but I’m not aware if they will be LIVE enabled or cross platform. Also seen was Requiem: Bloodymare and quite a few kids’ games. The big story with the Wii were the titles that should be coming to VC or WiiWare,including Dig Dug, Cruis'n USA, Ninja Combat and a couple of Pokemon titles; My Pokemon Ranch and Pokémon Puzzle League.

The DS pulled in a very uninspiring week unless you are a tween girl. Imagine: Babysitters, The Cheetah Girls: Passport to Stardom and Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society make for some great play if you are looking for games to keep your tweens preoccupied. Toss in a little Spongebob, and you have a very targeted, and young, audience this week.

Next-gen was again dominated by the Xbox 360, as the PS3 only had two titles (The Last Guy and WipeOut HD, both from SCEA) get rated. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 trotted out Braid, Darwinia +, Smash Court Tennis 3, Zombie Wranglers, Samurai Shodown and the console exclusive Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Pretty much a piss poor week for the PS3,and an OK week for the 360. We are in a bit of a dry period, but things should change as we get closer to E3 and games getting prepped for a Fall release.

The title of shame this week came down to a familiar concept, games based on pastries. The offender is Crazy Cakes by EA found at Club Pogo. I felt obligated to tee this one up, much like I did Cake Mania a few months back, as fairies and cake decorating just don’t seem like the type of gameplay that you would get your monies worth out of the Pogo service. Again, this is just a personal opinion, but I’m putting this game in the “Why?” bucket.

Title Publisher Rating Platforms
Art of Fighting 2 SNK Playmore USA Teen Wii
Braid Number None, Inc Everyone 10+ 360
Cruis'n USA Nintendo of America Everyone Wii
Dracula: Origin DreamCatcher Teen PC
Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition THQ Inc. Everyone DS
Fatal Fury 2 SNK Playmore USA Teen Wii
My Pokémon Ranch Nintendo of America Inc. Everyone Wii
Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society Majesco Entertainment Everyone 10+ DS
Pokémon Puzzle League Nintendo of America Everyone Wii
Rock Band Song Pack Volume 1 MTV Games Teen PS2, Wii
Samurai Shodown SNK Playmore USA Teen 360, Wii
Yakuza 2 Sega America Mature PS2
Underwater Attack UFO Interactive Games Everyone DS
SKYKID NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. Everyone Wii
Pirates: The Key of Dreams Oxygen Games Interactive Everyone Wii
SPY Fox in Dry Cereal Majesco Entertainment Everyone Wii
Mario Super Sluggers Nintendo Everyone Wii
DIG DUG NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. Everyone Wii
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Make the Grade ValuSoft Everyone PC, PS2, Wii
American Girl Kit: A Treehouse of My Own ValuSoft Everyone PC
Belle's Beauty Boutique eGames Inc. Everyone PC
Darwinia + Introversion, Software Everyone 360
Luminary - Rise of the Goonzu NDOORS Corporation Everyone 10+ PC
Freddi Fish: Haunted Schoolhouse Mystery Humongous, Inc. Everyone PC
Imagine: Babysitters Ubisoft Entertainment Everyone DS
The Cheetah Girls: Passport to Stardom Disney Interactive Studios Everyone DS
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Encore, Inc., Teen PC
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas Encore, Inc., Mature PC
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent Encore, Inc., Mature PC
Requiem: Bloodymare Gravity Interactive, LLC Mature PC
Smash Court Tennis 3 Atari, Inc. Everyone 360
Pajama Sam: Thunder & Lightning Humongous, Inc. Everyone PC
Putt-Putt Travels Through Time Humongous, Inc. Everyone PC
The Last Guy SCEA Everyone 10+ PS3
Freddi Fish: Kelp Seed Mystery Majesco Entertainment Everyone Wii
Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath Electronic Arts Teen 360
Clue Classic Encore, Inc., Everyone 10+ PC
Crazy Cakes Electronic Arts Everyone Macintosh, PC
Bubble Burst eGames Inc. Everyone PC
Burning Fight SNK Playmore USA Everyone 10+ Wii
Lego Creator ValuSoft Everyone PC
NCAA Football 09 Electronic Arts Everyone PS2
Ninja Combat SNK Playmore USA Everyone 10+ Wii
Solitaire Master 1,000,000 eGames Inc. Everyone PC
Super Jigsaw Caboodle RealNetworks Everyone Macintosh, PC
Purrfect Pet Shop eGames Inc. Everyone PC
Puzzle City eGames Inc. Everyone PC
Samba De Amigo™ Sega of America Everyone Wii
WipEout HD SCEA Everyone 10+ PS3
Zombie Wranglers Vivendi Games Everyone 10+ 360

Here is the final tally on who, what and where everything was rated for the last week. There were 56 rated titles on seven platforms. PC (20), Wii (17), and 360 (6) and DS (5) had the most games rated. There were 39 of the 56 titles rated at E10+ or lower, seven rated at T for Teen and just four rated at M for Mature.

Got a comment on the article or a rated games, put it in the section below or send me an e-mail. Until next week, make sure you know what your kids are playing……

*The weekly Title of Shame (and any game that is tossed in that paragraph) is done so based on several factors, including which games were rated that week, how does the game concept stack up, is it a re-hashed sequel, lame movie tie-in, rip off of another game, etc

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

About Author

I spent the greater part of my informative years glued to the front of a Commodore 64 after we wore out our Intellivision. If you were in the Toledo area surfing C-64 bulletin boards in the mid 80's, we probably have already met. When not running the BBS, I spent countless hours wandering around the streets of Skara Brae, as my life was immersed in The Bard's Tale series on the C-64. After taking the early 90's off from gaming (college years) minus the occasional Bill Walsh College Football on Sega, I was re-introduced to PC games in the mid 1990's with a couple of little games called DOOM II and Diablo. I went all-in with the current generation of consoles, getting an Xbox 360 on launch weekend as well as adding a PS3 and Wii in subsequent years.  I now am into the next-gneration (latest?) of consoles with the WiiU and Xbox One.  Although I haven't taken the plunge on the PS4 yet, it has my interest peaked, especially as my kids continue to grow and their gaming tastes evolve.

While my byline is on many reviews, articles and countless news stories, I have a passion for and spent the last several years at GamingNexus focusing on audio & video and accessories as they relate to gaming. Having over 20 years of Home Theater consulting and sales under my belt, it is quite enjoyable to spend some of my time viewing gaming through the A/V perspective. While I haven't yet made it to one of the major gaming conventions (PAX or E3), I have represented GamingNexus at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in nine of the last ten years.

I have been a staff member at GamingNexus since 2006 and feel lucky to have the opportunity to put to use my B.A. in Journalism from The Ohio State University.


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