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Video Game Review: Monopoly Family Fun Pack

December 10, 2014 | by Quinn Potter | Comments (0)
Monopoly Family Fun Pack
Games now last fewer than three hours!

Can a board game invented in 1933 stay relevant in the tech-rich environment of today? Quick answer – yes. Sweet visuals and fun sound effects make the Monopoly Family Fun Pack a fun, interactive family game that’s still enjoyable in today’s world.

CONTROLS (5/5)

Controls are well laid out, responsive and easy understand. They’ll be intuitive for even the youngest gamers.

GRAPHICS/SOUND (3.5/5)

Graphics are a strong point. The Ubisoft designers certainly know their way around a game board.  Monopoly Plus has clean lines, clear focus and additional fun (slightly blurred) details in the background. The screen is constantly alive with interactive pop ups, player scores, a board map, details about properties, large dice to roll and the “living board” is full of colorful objects in motion.

As strong as the graphics are, they can’t overcome the repetitive nature of the soundtrack. In Monopoly Plus, the narrator’s voice is smooth as he guides your tokens around the board and presents choices in gameplay, but the bright pop music and constant canned cheers can get stale quickly. If you mute the volume and blast your own tunes while playing the game, not much would be lost and it might be more enjoyable.

In Monopoly Deal, the elevator music might just put you to sleep before you can complete a couple of rounds of actions with your mates. Once again, muting the music and playing your own might be a better option.

GAMEPLAY (4/5)

If you’ve ever played the board game Monopoly or have watched someone play it, this will be pretty easy to pick up. Players pick a token (classic tokens, plus a bunny flying on a fire extinguisher), roll the dice and move around the board.

The board is alive with the constant motion of a big metropolis. Trains are running on their tracks, subways move, a Ferris Wheel spins in the background and a roller coaster runs up and down the tracks. When you land on a property, details about it pop up on the screen. Buy the property or watch it be auctioned off. As you land on properties multiple times, watch the construction crews move in and cheer as you build houses or hotels.

If you’re more creative and want to customize your board, move over to My Monopoly. For the center of the gameboard, press “y” to select objects (stadium, donut shop, castle and about 50 more) and move them around your city. You can also flip the 3D board, slap an icon on the middle of it and name your graphic. On the outside rim of the board, where the properties sit, press “x” to edit the names and pictures of the squares. You can’t edit taxes, go to jail, jail, free parking, community chest, chance, and go, but all the other spots will welcome your touch.

Like the social component of Xbox Live? Click on Monopoly Deal. Register for or use your Uplay account (loyalty rewards for Ubisoft gamers). Wait for at least two other players to join you, watch five cards get dealt, play an action card or a property card and try to get to three full color sets (three collections of different properties) to win.

Between the cool jazz and the slow pace of the game, it’s kind of like playing your grandmother in Canasta. In fact, if you have some grands wanting to game with you online, this might be a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Have a cup of tea, play the cards you’ve been dealt, and watch the minutes crawl by.

OVERALL (4/5)

Monopoly Plus and My Monopoly are the winners in the Monopoly Family Fun Pack. No little pieces to lose, no arguments over who is going to be the banker, no worries about addition errors or miscounting spaces on the board. No need to find cardboard to color in your own Monopoly squares. Just plug in and play. Watch with glee as young gamers turn into property barons. Sure to bring out the mini-Trumps in us all.

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Video Game Review: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

December 8, 2014 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
While all the puzzles and temples can be completed alone, Temple of Osiris is meant to be played with other people (it supports up to four). That means the game actively changes things up in terms of layout so that teamwork is a necessity. For instance, in single player, Lara may be able to grapple over a chasm to advance. In multiplayer, she’ll no longer be able to reach the other side alone. Instead, her grapple becomes a tight rope that another player can walk across.
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Video Game Review: Tetris Ultimate

December 4, 2014 | by Matthew Striplen | Comments Comments Off
Ultimate comes with all the bells and whistles we’ve become accustomed to in modern installments of Tetris: t-spins, the hold box, the ghost and a handful of game modes. Classics like Marathon, Sprint and Battle make appearances, though a few others are available to unlock. Some of these, like Endless, are incredibly difficult to unlock, requiring you to finish the highest level on Marathon. One of my personal favorites is Rotation Lock, which eliminates the ability to spin Tetriminos. It’s frickin’ hard.
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Video Game Review: Game of Thrones, Episode 1

December 2, 2014 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Anyone afraid that TellTale’s Game of Thrones would feel too far removed from the events of the show should have those fears dashed in the opening moments as House Forrester, the focal house of this side story, drinks wine just outside the Twins on the eve of Robb Stark’s march on Casterly Rock. Yes, the game opens at the infamous Red Wedding, and, as loyal banner men of House Stark, House Forrester loses plenty on that fateful night.
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Video Game Review: WWE 2k15

November 28, 2014 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
It’s been a trying year for World Wrestling Entertainment. They brought Batista back as a conquering hero only to watch fans react so negatively to it that Batista was turned heel and perennial underdog Daniel Bryan won the belt — only to get injured shortly after WrestleMania. CM Punk departed, Boo-tista cut his return short, Roman Reigns got hurt and Brock Lesnar put the WWE Championship into a months-long sleeper hold. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…
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