We've added nearly 100 new games in three formats to our shelves at the public libraries. Look for PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 games like Big Game Hunter, Fight Night, Forza Motorsport 3, Boom Blox: Bash Party, and many more.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Xbox 360)
This movie tie-in lets kids play Flint Lockwood, a scientist whose inventions may save the town from destruction by massive, falling food. Parents (or other kids) can jump in to help out or play alongside as Steve, Flint's pet monkey. Players start out in the ice-cream covered town of Swallow Falls with only a hairdryer and a lab coat in this problem-solving game. Using the hairdryer to melt ice cream uncovers obstacles and two more tools which can be combined to get players out of any scrape, though it can take some creative thinking to figure out how. The puzzles are the stars here (there's not much story) and take about 20 minutes apiece to solve, making for about six hours of play including time spent collecting snack foods in the game.
Dirt 2 (Xbox 360)
With single and multiplayer options, six levels from beginner to expert, customizable upgrade kits, incredible graphics, multiple types of events, and a co-driver (in the rallies) to keep you informed of upcoming hazards, this is an enthralling off-road racing game. Playing in career mode gives you access to an RV that is your headquarters, furnished with a desk and a map that lets you choose your next event, magazines with info about your races (and those of your friends) and the accumulated souvenirs from each of your races. The detailed visuals don't slow the game down either online or off, and though each of the vehicles you can collect handles differently, the differences don't interfere with your ability to hop in and start driving.
Brutal Legend (PS3)
More than just a tribute to the heavy-metal era, this is also a great strategy game in its own right (but you'd better be able to at least tolerate the music). You play Eddie Riggs (a roadie voiced by Jack Black) who is flung into a world filled with shrines to heavy metal, all crumbling now since the rise of Emperor Doviculus (whose rule favors hair metal). Open-world style lets you play the main mission (defeat Doviculus) or explore side missions. Multiplayer mode makes good strategy a must, and many weapons are unique to this game (the guitar solos that Eddie collects, for instance).The soundtrack is chosen as if for a movie, to support not only the theme but the action, and several metal legends make appearances here.
Muramasa is another side scrolling RPG for the Wii. Players choose between two possible characters: Momohime, a possessed girl, or Kisuke, a ninja with no memory. Each character has a different objective and faces different bosses, but both focus on collecting Demon Blades to help fight enemies. Demon Blades have a different secret art that, once unleashed, will do a lot of damage to foes. Combat is highly stylized, and the game offers a tutorial in the beginning so players know which buttons to push to block, stab, or swipe depending on the situation. This game's graphics are stunning, and even though it's two-dimensional, I found myself trying to walk into the background at certain points in the game. I also appreciated the audio track. Instead of a poorly dubbed, cheesy voiceover, the game keeps its original Japanese audio which adds to the atmosphere of the game. Recommended for fans of side scrolling RPGs, games where skill counts when fighting, or fans of all things Japanese.
A Boy and his Blob (Wii)
This is a side scrolling adventure where you help a cute blob fight to save his planet. Both characters must work together to reach the end of each level. The boy character can't jump very high or far, but can push rocks to squish enemies. More importantly, Boy tosses out special jellybeans to turn Blob into a variety of shapes. For example, Blob as a trampoline will help Boy jump onto a high platform; as a parachute, Blob helps Boy slowly float down from high places. The game offers auto-save and an unlimited supply of jellybeans to help players solve each puzzle. There are 40 levels to finish the game and an additional 40 challenge levels unlocked if players can find three hidden treasures in each game level. Even though I was tempted to play right through the game, I stopped to play the bonus levels as well-once completed special features are unlocked so players can see concept art used when designing the game. Recommended for the young, and the young at heart who can't resist helping a blob return home.
Many thanks to guest reviewer, Kate Duncan, who played and reviewed the Wii games.