Think of the Children for April 2nd

Think of the Children for April 2nd

Written by Dan Keener on 4/2/2008 for DS   PC   PS2   PS3   PSP   Wii   360  
More On: Think of the Children
Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the ESRB has once again graced us with a significant amount of game titles that were rated last week. Highlighting the list were a couple of much-anticipated Xbox 360 title, the DS having a surprising low count of rated titles, the Mac making a big splash and an a re-start for a fledgling format with a new game being rated.

I guess the thing that first jumped out at me this week was how few titles the DS had rated, and how many the Mac had on the list. The Mac had eight titles this week, which is unusually high. However, they were all from the same publisher (Selectsoft Publishing/MPS) and included such titles as 101 Bunny Pets, 101 Kitty Pets and 101 Pony Pets. So I guess volume doesn’t always equate to top-shelf titles. As for the DS, it usually dominates, but could only muster three total titles including an AMF bowling game they are sharing with the N-Gage. Speaking of which, could AMF Bowling Pinbusters! Be the first game for the 2nd generation N-Gage platform?

The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 combined for seven titles this week, with both having LEGO Indiana Jones being rated. The only other PS3 title was something called Elefunk. No, it’s not a Black Eyed Peas tie-in, but rather a Playstation Network puzzler where you are challenged to get elephants to safety by building complex structures to allow them to make their way through the world. The Xbox 360 also had the much-anticipated Too Human rated, along retail game Operation Darkness and two XBLA titles in Darwinia and Braid. Other than Too Human, the other Xbox 360 titles have been more or less flying under the radar.

While looking over the list, two titles immediately jumped out as candidates for this week’s title of shame. The first was Jaks’s Pacific Plug & Play adaptation of Bejeweled, and the second was ValuSoft feeling the need to bring Dancing With the Stars to PC’s everywhere. I like Bejeweled, as a game, but it seems to me that a P&P version is not overkill, but almost a badge of shame for a distinguished franchise. I realize there may be a few people that live in caves, or remote farmhouses out in the barren countryside, but really, how many people couldn’t find a version of the game on their PDA, Cell Phone, PC, iPod, Flash game online or a console? Despite me not caring for the way Bejeweled is being presented (and that is the primary reason), this weeks Title of Shame belongs squarely to ValuSoft’s Dancing With The Stars. Frankly, any game that is spawn from a reality TV show, let alone a variety TV show about DANCING will always get at least a cursory look here. After checking out the previews and graphics, my fears were confirmed. It appears to be cheesy, has bad graphics and is completely unnecessary. I would say shame on ABC and THQ (parent company of ValuSoft) for letting this come to fruition.
Title Publisher Rating Platforms
101 BunnyPets Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E Mac, PC
Arkanoid Square Enix, Inc E DS
Critter Round-Up Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. E Wii
Dancing With The Stars ValuSoft E PC
Elefunk SCEA E PS3
Fading Shadows AGETEC E PSP
Mission: Runway ValuSoft E PC
NOMBZ: Night of a Million Billion Zombies PowerUp Studios Inc. T PC
Noteable Legacy Productions Inc. E PC
Wonder Boy SEGA of America E Wii
Europa Universalis Rome Paradox Interactive E10+ PC
Defend Your Castle XGen Studios Inc. E Wii
Crystal Caverns of Amon-Ra Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E Mac, PC
Club Vegas Casino 10,000 Selectsoft Publishing / MPS T Mac, PC
AMF Bowling Pinbusters! Vir2L Studios LLC E N-Gage, DS
Block Breaker Deluxe Game Loft E Wii
Bejeweled Deluxe TV Game JAKKS Pacific Inc. E Plug-and-Play
101 KittyPets Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E Mac, PC
101 PonyPets Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E Mac, PC
Dynasty of Egypt Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E Mac, PC
Hexagon Mahjongg Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E Mac, PC
Jewels of the Nile Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E Mac, PC
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Lucas Arts E10+ PS3, PSP, Wii
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Lucas Arts E10+ PC, 360, PS3
We Ski NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. E Wii
Protothea Ubisoft Entertainment E Wii
Ship Simulator 2008 Add-on: New Horizons VSTEP bv E PC
Sudoku Puzzle Blast Electronic Arts E PC
Super Collapse! Puzzle Gallery 3 RealNetworks E PC
Too Human Microsoft T 360
Mahjong Safari Electronic Arts E PC
CSI: Dark Motives Encore, Inc., A Navarre Corporation Company M PC
Death Jr.: Root of Evil Eidos T Wii
Darwinia Introversion Software E 360
Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Ubisoft Entertainment M PC
Break In Hudson Entertainment Inc E Wii
Heracles: Battle with the Gods Conspiracy Entertainment Corporation E DS
Powerball SEGA of America E Wii
King of Clubs Crave Entertainment Inc. E Wii
Operation Darkness Atlus USA, Inc. M 360
Chameleon UFO Interactive Games E PSP
Braid Number None, Inc. E 360
ARCA Sim Racing 08' Sim Factory LLC E PC
Elements United Developers E PC
Here is the final tally on who, what and where everything was rated for the last week. There were 44 rated titles on 10 platforms. PC (22), Wii (11), Mac (8) and 360 (5) had the most games rated. There were 37 of the 44 titles rated at E10+ or lower, four rated at T for Teen and three 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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