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Chiilo Blog

Civilization Revolution Review

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Game: Civilization Revolution

Platform: XBOX 360

Score: 9/10

Note: I am writing this review as someone who has never played the PC version of this game series.

Civilization Revolution is an immersive turn-by-turn strategy game that sucked me in immediately. As a fan of Starcraft, I had some basic knowledge of the structure of these types of games. However, CR is designed with increasing difficulty levels so that a beginner can learn the controls by playing the easiest level first and reading the tutorials. There are four types of victories you can strive for: Domination, Cultural, Economic, and Technology. Each victory has a certain set of conditions you need to achieve to secure the win. For example, you can win a Domination victory by capturing all enemy capitals.

The game begins by providing you with a group of settlers on a random piece of land located on a larger world map. You can choose where to build your first city, based on the terrain you find nearby. For example, if you build a city next to water with fish in it, your food production is increased. From there, you can start building warriors, buildings, and wonders. Wonders are special buildings that increase the culture of your city and provide special benefits. You then continue on building your city and utilizing resources, and hope that your defenses are strong enough to ward off invaders long enough to secure the victory of your choice.

This game provides hours of entertainment, both in single player and multiplayer versus mode.

Its no secret that I love stockpiling money in games, so I found myself gravitating towards achieving an economic victory each time I sat down to play. I also challenged myself to work through each difficulty level, which turned out to be harder than I thought. (I'm currently on the "King" difficulty setting.)

The only gripe I have with this game is that the in game flow-charts detailing the cause and effect of different research is not very clear. I had to go online and download a larger, fan-made chart to make sense of what researching the Alphabet would lead to later on.

All in all, Civilization Revolution is a challenging and enjoyable game with endearing graphics and a high replay value.

Good luck! ;)

Wii U Experience

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I recently had the chance to try out the Wii U at Nintendo's traveling Wii U Experience Event. I attended the Seattle event and it was so much fun! It was held in this awesome warehouse in Capitol Hill that looked like a nightclub. There was music, free water, a photo booth, and games. (I attended a later event, but there was food at the earlier events.) Basically, you get to walk around the room and visit stations that are set up for each Wii U game. I visited each station, but I only played the New Super Mario Bros. since i'm more of an observer :) The tablet controller is SUPER lightweight. It is not bulky or heavy at all. It was like an enlarged DS touch screen w/stylus. After you are finished walking around, you fill out a survey on a computer station that is located near the back of the room. I also brought my 3DS and made 10 new friends! It seems like the Wii U is geared mostly towards group play, so i'm still not sure if it is right for me. (Since I already own a Wii.) However, the event was informative and gave me more exposure to a product I did not know much about initially. Thank you, Nintendo, for being so awesome to your fans!

I got a free lanyard! Yay!:)

Challenge Accepted.

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Mario has coins coming out of his head.

August 19th marks the release date of "New Super Mario Bros. 2" for the Nintendo 3DS. The trailer that I watched for this game challenged me to collect 1 million coins. Any guesses on what i'll be doing in my free time for the next few weeks? ;)

Super Mario 3D Land Review

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Game:  Super Mario 3D Land

Platform:  Nintendo 3DS

Score:  8/10

Super Mario 3D Land is a colorful and dynamic romp through eight new worlds. Once again, Princess Peach has been locked up in a cage by bad boy Bowser and is just waiting to be rescued. (You think after all these years she would have learned some self-defense skills?) The game pays homage to one of my favorite games of all time, Super Mario Bros 3, with the return of the Tanooki suit and Bowsers warships. Each world is composed of 5 levels, which you progress through linearly. Mario can also visit a Toad house to receive an extra power-up item, or a "Mystery Box" level with coins (and more!) inside.

In terms of layout and game play, Super Mario 3D Land does not deviate too much from the classic Mario game set-up. Mario can run, punch, swim, and climb, to name a few options. Additional powers and actions are available when wearing a special suit or hat. My favorite suit is, of course, the Tanooki suit. Wearing his fluffy raccoon outfit, Mario is able to knock enemies down with a tail-spin attack, and float for a few seconds after jumping. This floating power enables access to platforms or areas that are otherwise too far away. Plus, Mario looks simply adorable while wearing it!

The use of 3D gives Mario's surroundings a new and improved depth. I felt like I was actually inside my DS playing the game as Mario himself. I also noticed small touches that made the game even more beautiful, such as glittering 3D dandelion fluff that scatters into the air when you run into it.

Perhaps the most addictive and time-consuming aspect of this game is the amount of extra side quests. For each level, there are three star coins to collect. These are often found in hidden or difficult to reach places. Also, you can earn Golden Flags for each level that you finish at the very top of the traditional Mario flagpole. There are also glittering stars you can earn for playing through each level without dying more than 5 times. Did I mention you also have to beat every level as Luigi? As a self-proclaimed completionist, I found myself obsessed with meeting these goals. The extras also make a seemingly short and straightforward game take much longer to complete. Overall, Super Mario 3D Land is a solid and entertaining game that is suitable for all ages. Whether you are a lifelong fan or starry-eyed newcomer, Super Mario 3D Land invites you in and promises you a good time.

 Bottom line: I won't stop playing until I find every single star coin!:D

 

 

Happy Birthday!!!

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I turned 25 years old this past weekend! A random salesman asked me what high school I attend, so luckily I'm still stuck at around age 16 looks-wise.:roll:

I am now a proud owner of a pink chrome Nintendo 3DS!!!

Why don't they make cars this color?

I also purchased:

Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land 2

Super Mario 3D Land

I went on a total Mario binge. So far, I am LOVING the 3DS. Initially, when I viewed the 3D feature in stores, it hurt my eyes. However, when I tried it at home its actually not as bad as I remembered. The 3D (not turned up all the way) makes my Mario 3D Land game look spectacular!

The only complaint I have at this point is that the control pad and buttons are a little stiff. Hopefully this is just the "break in" period and not a permanent problem.

Here is what else i've tried/downloaded so far:

AR cards and games

Netflix

Nintendo Video

Camera

Face Raiders-quite possibly the weirdest/creepiest thing ever created. As my bf would say, "Kill it with fire."

Mii Maker and Mii Plaza

All I can say is: Wow. I am one happy camper! I can't wait to try out more games.

Wii U Wishlist

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With the Wii U's impending arrival, i've put together a "Wish List" if you will of what i'd like to see and what i'm looking forward to in Nintendo's new console.

With a more powerful processor and tons of storage, I hear the Wii U is set to run some visually impressive games that also come with a hand-held option on the gamepad controller. (To be honest, I don't really know what i'm talking about when it comes to precise technical specifications.) :?

Uhhh yeah....let's move on to the list, shall we?

1. New Super Mario Brothers U.

There really is no such thing as a horrible, unplayable Mario game. Some Mario games over the years have stood out over the others, but in general the franchise produces solid, entertaining games. I'm looking forward to playing New Super Mario Brothers U in multi-player mode with my brother, since we both thoroughly enjoyed the Wii version of NSMB.

2. Pink Accessories.

I love my pink Wii Remote, and i'm thrilled to hear that the remote will be backwards compatible with the Wii U. I'm hoping to see more pink accessories available. Heck, i'd probably be thrilled to see a pink Wii U. ;) Nintendo, are you listening?

3. Larger support of third-party games.

The list of upcoming Wii U games has a smattering of third-party games that my boyfriend will LOVE. I feel that this will bring us closer together, and also expose me to games I may not have played otherwise.

4. Disney.

I'd like to see some Disney influence, i.e. Kingdom Hearts or games that feature Disney characters.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Or: the return of a dark and haunting Zelda game.

I have heard rumors of a Majora's Mask remake coming for the Wii U. Although the "trailer" for this game is fan-made, I still feel that it is more than time for another Zelda game that isn't all watercolors, pastels, and smiles. Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess were dark, creepy, and exactly what the Wii U needs in order for me to solidify a $300 purchase. I'd also like to see the Poe collector from Ocarina of Time make a comeback.

I would also like to see:

Yoshi, Pokemon, Star Fox, Kittens (lol)

Coming Soon: My thoughts on the "console wars" debate.

First blog-First Review!

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Game: Super Mario Galaxy (2007)

Platform: Wii

Score: 7/10

Graphics: I found the graphics to be reminiscent of Super Mario 64, but with a twist (literally.) Mario and his 3D friends look the same, but the environment itself has been upgraded to a more polished looking world with lush "planets" (levels) that can be explored from every angle. For an earlier Wii game, the graphics are crisp, colorful, and clear.

Controls: Super Mario Galaxy employs the Wii remote in a variety of ways. You can shake the remote to launch Marios spin attack, execute commands with button combinations, and point the remote at the screen to drag and drop objects (including Mario himself.) I found the controls fairly easy to learn, and the game does a great job of walking you through your control options and warming you up in the beginning levels.

Sound: I was surprised and happy to hear classic Mario tracks being used in Super Mario Galaxy! (Along with some new additions.) For example, Bowser's theme from Super Mario 64 is used during the levels where you face Bowser and his offspring. This is just one example of many classic tunes youll come across. If you are a Mario fan, prepare to feel nostalgic.

Level of Difficulty: Frustrating. This game ain't easy! The levels are intricate and require precise timing of your jumps and attacks. You are also given only 3 life points. (If you are hit 3 times, its game over.) I like to refer to games like this as "sweaty controller games." Make of that what you will.

My experience: I had somehow missed playing Super Mario Galaxy when the Wii was first released. I purchased the game for $20 at Best Buy as a "Nintendo Select Classic Game." I was excited to play it, since it was being displayed next to the likes of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Mario Kart Wii. The game has the same basic premise as every other Mario game known to exist: find Princess Peach and save her. For this adventure, Mario is in space and must travel from galaxy to galaxy collecting stars to fix his spaceship and travel light years to his "special someone." The game itself is visually stunning, and the galaxy levels themselves are all conceptually interesting and different from one another. I also thought being able to turn into Bee Mario and fly around was super fun!

At the point I wrote this review, I had about 42 stars collected. The game itself poses very little in terms of an intellectual challenge. The location of each star is explained to you, you just have to travel through the puzzles and obstacles to find it. I found this obvious layout to the game very disappointing. I enjoy exploring new worlds and figuring things out on my own, not being told exactly what to do. Even the "hidden stars" are explained to you in detail. This type of game set-up would be great for a younger child, but definitely was an insult to the intelligence of a player older than 12.

Additionally, the levels themselves are based on fine motor skills and not much else. For example, most levels require that you jump from one tiny, millimeter sized ledge to the next while dodging flames or an infinite stream of enemies. Most of my frustration came from the deaths to Mario that occurred over basic control errors, such as not being able to adjust the in-game camera to see where I was supposed to be jumping. Brutal! However, I tend to be stubborn so I would keep playing until I got it right out of sheer determination. Another major problem with the game is the amount of repetition. You can earn additional stars for re-playing levels and fighting a boss you have already encountered, with a few minor changes to the level such as faster moving enemies. To be honest, I got bored with this feature quite quickly.

Finally, it is important to mention that Mario is able to defy gravity in this game. He can walk upside down and all around an object, running and jumping across (obviously) spherical planets. What did this mean for me? Motion sickness. I was sitting a healthy distance from the TV and I still felt dizzy and nauseous. Seeing Mario running around in all directions, and trying to keep up with the changing perspectives of the levels themselves left me feeling quite ill. (Most of the levels are constantly spinning, whilst being suspended in the air.) At first, I could only play for 5-10 minute increments until my eyes (and inner ear!) acclimated to the game play. It is a good idea to monitor your distance from the screen, and also limit your total time playing if you arent feeling well.

A pretty accurate representation of how my tummy reacted to all that Mario motion!

Bottom line: Endearing for the short-term, but not a classic.

Check out: Super Mario 64, available to download in the Wii online shop.