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Developer: 5TH Cell Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Platform: 3DS, PC, Wii U Release Date: Out Now ESRB: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older This review is based on the PC version of the game I remember back when the original Scribblenauts was coming out. The buzz surrounding the game was insurmountable, with people hyped out of their minds to create whatever they could imagine. When the game came out, many felt it didn“t meet their expectations, despite how ambitious it was. Still, the franchise chugged on, popping out another handheld title, Super Scribblenauts, which was met with much the same reaction. Now the series looks to sink its teeth into more platforms with Scribblenauts Unlimited. It“s still not the â€œgame of the foreverâ€ that people thought the original would be, but Unlimited is a lot of fun for those ready to flex their lexicon. Entrusted with a notebook that can make materialize anything written in it and a magic globe that lets you travel anywhere, Maxwell and his sister Lily head out to the city at the behest of their parents. As you can imagine, giving such powerful items to children doesn“t work out for the best. Maxwell plays a prank on an old man who casts a curse on Lily to turn her to stone. To cure her, Maxwell must collect Starites, items that are created by doing good deeds for other. Armed with his notebook, Maxwell heads to the city and beyond to cure his sister. At its heart, Scribblenauts Unlimited is a puzzle game. You help random people around the map for Starite shards and play scenarios for full Starites, with each scenario consisting of a few puzzles. You“re given a situation, like a school boy wanting to eat something to make him grow up strong, and it“s your job to open Maxwell“s notebook and make a solution out of adjectives and nouns or to modify an existing item that fits the instructions. There are also item Starite shards that are awarded to you for making and interacting with certain items. For instance, those who want to induce paradoxes by strapping a piece of buttered toast to a cat and seeing just how it lands will be rewarded for their curiosity. As you collect Starites, you unlock more areas with different themes and puzzles. Much like other games that use this system, you can beat the game without getting every Starite, so you don“t have to feel too pressured if you“re absolutely stumped on a puzzle. While the concept and mechanics behind it are fun, your enjoyment of the game is going to largely depend on how you solve the puzzles. That“s not to say that those with a small vocabulary won“t get much mileage out of the game. It“s more of an issue of flexibility. You could amass a backpack of favorite items that will serve you throughout the game, but to me, the fun comes from challenging the system and trying to think of the most outlandish solutions possible. That said, you“re going to run into some words that aren“t in the game or just don“t work like you“d want them to. Luckily, Unlimited has an item creator that allows you to make any nouns you want. You can also edit your avatar in the same way, should Maxwell not suit you. The creators are surprisingly detailed and is easily something you could spend hours on. As I played Unlimted on PC, I can“t fully comment on the differences in the 3DS and Wii U versions, though I do know that they contain some Nintendo characters and items that aren“t in the PC version. Still, the PC version is not without its advantages. I“m not a fan of typing on a resistive touch screen, so being able to type on a physical keyboard is a huge plus to me. While the Nintendo versions may have some more words to work with, the PC version makes up for this with Steam Workshop support. Not only can you make your own nouns, you can browse user-created content as well, assuming you don“t mind sifting through some less than inspired creations and dozens of Slender Mans and Creepers. It also makes the item creation more fulfilling, as you can share your work for others to enjoy. Scribblenauts Unlimited has a great concept behind it, but it seems like the series will always be hit-or-miss depending on how creative you want to get with your solutions. If you“re just looking for a quick completion, Unlimited won“t offer much for you, despite the refinements that have been made to the concept and the depth of the item creator. If you go into the game wanting to have fun with it, though, you won“t be disappointed. Pros: + Charming story and aesthetic + Large dictionary of words + User-created content Cons: - As deep as you make it - Not enough Starite scenarios - Some words don“t work as you would expect Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great Long story short, Scribblenauts Unlimited is the best entry in the series and so long as you“re looking to be creative and have fun, you will.
While 2012 didn“t mark the end of the human race, the release of the Wii U has made it the start of the end for the current console generation. Despite studios gearing up for the future, 2012 saw a slew of great games come out. It might not have been from cosmic destruction, but this year certainly went out with a bang. My biggest regret, and it“s a big one, iis that I haven“t played nearly as many of this year“s releases as I should have. I“ve done GOTY lists before, but never have I wished I had more to say than I have with this year. My list is small and humble, but for those interested, these are the five releases from this year that stand above all the rest for me. 5. Legend of Grimrock This is the odd-man-out entry on my list, being the only game that I haven“t beaten. That said, I don“t hesitate to call it one of my favorites this year. For someone unfamiliar with the old-school first-person dungeon crawler, Grimrock is a fiendishly hard and tense experience. It“s fun to play and builds a great atmosphere that, I“m not ashamed to admit, creeps me out a more than a fair deal. Challenging puzzles round out the experience, making for a game that“s definitely worth checking out if you can. Even after the main game is done, there are custom campaigns to check out on Steam Workshop. Hopefully, someday, I“ll be man enough to finish it and dig into the community content. 4. Scribblenauts Unlimited I haven“t had much experience with the Scribblenauts franchise before, with only a little time spent with the original game. The release of Unlimited on the PC made me want to see just how far the series has come and I definitely wasn“t disappointed. It“s simple, but being able to type out the words on a keyboard makes the experience all the more enjoyable. Solving the puzzles is definitely fun, but the most enjoyable aspect is seeing just how outlandish of a solution you can get the game to accept. It“s sort of a your-mileage-may-vary affair, as you can definitely keep using the same go-to items, but those looking for a fun and imaginative game can certainly make it one. 3. Lollipop Chainsaw Official GP Review Before I played Lollipop Chainsaw, I“d hesitate to call any Suda51 game good. I“ve always enjoyed what I“ve played, but none of them stood out as solid games on a fundamental level. Then Juliet came along. I“m a fan of the hack-and-slash genre in general and while Lollipop is on the simpler side of things, the presentation is top-notch. I“m also a huge fan of works that are self-aware; things that know what they“re good at and just go with it. The whole-hearted embrace of the B-Movie aesthetic is something I love and I had a blast playing through the game multiple times. It might not have the depth of something like Bayonetta, but Suda51 definitely delivered a satisfying experience. The amazing soundtrack didn“t hurt, either. 2. Persona 4 Arena Official GP Review I“ve always been a casual fan of fighting games, though never have been good at them or stuck with them very long. I“d also never played a Persona game until this year, when I played through both Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4, but it“s a series that really grabbed me with its story and characters. I got Arena just expecting a simple tie-in and was blown away by the depth of the content. I easily spent 30 hours going through the story mode and enjoyed it thoroughly. Even the new character, Labrys, is a great addition to the cast and has a good backstory. On top of pleasing the Persona fan in me, it“s also an amazingly solid fighter, especially as far as netcode is concerned. Arena is definitely no cash-in on a franchise“s name and I couldn“t be happier about it. 1. Katawa Shoujo Official GP Review Another first for me, this year marked the first time I tried out a visual novel. Katawa Shoujo is a game I went into with great reluctance and I was anticipating it to fail and flat-out offend. I think it“s hard not to go in with that attitude when you consider the general concept of the game and the origins of the project. Still, I started hearing many people, GP's own Marcus and Leah included, talking up the game and being genuinely pleased with it and decided to try it for myself. I“m glad I did and I“ve never been more glad to be wrong. I spent an emotional 50 hours going through all the content and was left with a great appreciation for a genre I“d never given much consideration before. It“s a wonderful, touching experience and, best of all, it“s free for you try at your leisure. Please do. There“s still a lot I regret not having played. Looking through all these lists definitely shows just how many wonderful games came out this year. There may be some repeats and stand-out favorites, but there are also a lot of differences as well. In a year that“s been painted by analysts as bad for the industry, I think these lists definitely prove that it“s been a fantastic year for the medium.
Venom posted a blog entry in Venomous IncorporatedMost levels in games don't take that long to complete. They certainly don't take 3 hours to get through. But I bought Scribblenauts Unlimited last night, and so far I've played it for over 3 hours and I'm still on the first level. Not that I can't finish the level, mind, and, in fact, I have completed it. However, there's quite a few reasons why I'm still on the first level. This is one of them. For the uninitiated, the Scribblenauts series allows players to type in nearly any object and have that object spawn in the game world. Super Scribblenauts added adjectives, broadening the spectrum, and Scribblenauts Unlimited wants to live up to it's name by giving you nearly unlimited freedom. The majority of the time, you're only limited by your imagination. Sure, sometimes the game doesn't recognize what you want, like earlier - I wanted to spawn one of those power saws, but I didn't know what they were called. I typed power saw and the game didn't recognize it, so I typed electric saw, and out popped an electrified hand saw, which admittedly was much cooler. Other times, you end up with things like this: That's a spotted fawn according to the game. I was thinking Bambi, the game was thinking rare skin disorder. The other one is "white spotted fawn" which took the word "white" a smidge too far into monochrome territory. But you know what? I don't care. I'm having an absolute blast seeing what I can come up with, and it's that thirst for pushing the bounds of what the game is capable of that has kept me stuck in the first stage of the game. If you've ever played Garry's Mod, you have an idea of what to expect here - you spawn one thing, then another, then another until you have a mish-mash of things littered about the screen and nothing to do with them. That's when you decide to find ways to make them interactive, which, in Scribblenauts, means adding adjectives. Sure, you can spawn a potato, but why not spawn a sentient green dancing ninja potato instead? I can guarantee those would have taken over the timeslot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a heartbeat. But why stop there? Why not have an electrified zombie horse or a giant decapitated reindeer? No, seriously, decapitated is an accepted adjective. If you were to watch me play a game, you'd soon see that I like to find fun in things that the developers never intended, like trying to climb objects in the game world (and often getting stuck) or luring NPCs into deadly traps. With Scribblenauts, building your own experience is certainly intended and expected, but I think they actually expected people to, you know, play the levels too, and that is something I just can't bring myself to do just yet. Not when I can take on a massive gun-toting tyrannosaurus in an impenetrable mech instead. Illustrated here for effect. Quite simply, Scribblenauts Unlimited is the most fun I've had with a game in a long time since it allows me to just sort of kick back and go wild. But maybe I should go see what the rest of the game has to offer. Maybe I should see what the game hopes I'll think up as a solution to it's puzzles. Maybe I should save Maxwell's sister from being turned to stone. That seems kinda important. ...Or maybe I should go check and make sure they get this brontosaurus out of the tree safely first. Yeah, after that, I'll get into the game. For sure this time. Definitely. Right after this. Oh yeah, he'll be fine. They've got a ladder. But just in case, I'd better summon a few helicopters and a purple flaming tornado.