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Age range: A varied selection of movie trivia and film clips span the ages with segments from “Transformers,” “Rocky Balboa,” and even this year’s “Tropic Thunder” included in the questions. Basically, anyone in the family with decent reading skills can take part in the action, thanks, in part, to the big-button controllers.
Final advice: Box Office Smash is the best social trivia game in town for the Xbox 360. Unfortunately, it still feels as if it is in pre-production stages and could offer so much more.
Here’s an abbreviated look at some multimedia titles for the DS owner in the family.
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance (for DS, LucasArts, $34.99) — The latest episode from the continuing war between the Separatists and the Republic moves from movie and television screens to Nintendo’s hand-held console for a lesson in teamwork.
A new story about the hijacking of a shipment of precious light-saber crystals sets the stage for the third-person action that requires a player to pair some of the galaxy’s most famous Jedi. Legends to choose from include Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu and Kit Fisto, along with newcomer Ahsoka Tano. Once characters are selected for a level, they sort of work together (one basically covers the others’ tails) on missions.
Game mechanics involve exploration, puzzle solving, collecting and combat with such foes as buzz droids, Sith, Magna Guards and the mysterious Nightsisters.
The DS’ stylus controls nearly all of the action and, more importantly, the light saber. A tap on an opponent sends the Jedi swinging at him while tapping on the hero can deflect enemy fire. For a powerful Jedi attack or complex maneuvers, drawing lines in tandem with onscreen movements leads to a flurry of Force power.
The three-dimensional adventure looks great, has loads of items to unlock and displays all of the visual and aural nuances of the “Star Wars” universe, down to a booming score and hefty voiceover work.
Avatar: The Last Airbender, Into the Inferno (For DS, THQ, $29.99) — Action from the third and final season of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon translates into a third-person adventure game as players help Aang and his friends save the world and defeat the Fire Nation.
As in Jedi Alliance, teamwork exists and is even more essential as a pair of characters such as Aang and Katara band together to navigate mazelike environments, collect White Lotus tiles in every level and use complimentary powers to survive.
Control of the four elements (water, air, fire and earth) is vital to success and the player uses the stylus as sort of an eyedropper to collect material into a ball and toss it around the environments.
He can break items, knock out foes and even trip switches. A second level of powers for each character can be used to create tornados, ice bridges and a wall of fire
The DS’ touch screen and stylus carry the workload as touching the screen leads the heroes around the 3-D worlds and bends the raw elements into weapons.
Onscreen design offers humorous, big-headed versions of the characters (familiar to fans of Japanese animation’s “super-deformed” style), but the cut scenes are very mediocre.
About the Author
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
- Zadzooks: Angry Birds Star Wars review (Wii U)
- Zadzooks: Batman: Arkham Origins review
- Zadzooks: The Wolf Among Us – Faith review
- Zadzooks: Beyond: Two Souls review
- Zadzooks: Star Wars: The Black Series, Luke Skywalker figure review
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