Here’s my Metro reviews for the week of Aug. 3rd
By Ernest Cline
Inspired by 80’s movies like The Last Starfighter, Armada is a joyful pop culture romp about a gamer recruited to battle an alien invasion. It has a Spielberg-like sense of teen friendship, but goes overboard in name-checking celebrities.
Rated: Mature 17+
This lovingly-presented museum collection spans twenty-five years through thirty games, half of which are coin-op arcade titles about moon landers and dungeon explorers. An added tweak that makes your screen look like an old, cathode ray tube television is a nice touch and a rewind button is certainly appreciated considering their steep difficulty, although I think tutorials would have been helpful too.
I’m among Rare’s many fans who will tell you that the infamous Battletoad and much-loved Banjo-Tooie series alone makes this collection worth buying. All of the games have been preserved, not remastered, and that includes the outrageously crass Conker’s Bad Fur Day. This is about creating an nostalgic window into the past that you’d expect with an emulator, not the new polish given Conker in the “Live & Reloaded” version.
What is new is a library of featurettes, showcases, and songs that detail unreleased projects and behind-the-scenes lore. These are unlocked slowly as you play through the games and a new collection of “Snapshot” mini-challenges pulled from the arcade titles, again to make them a little easier to enjoy.
With their distinctive, googly-eyed sense of humour and creative dedication, Rare is an excellent company for this kind of treatment as even the kiddie titles Viva Pinata and Grabbed By The Ghoulies are worth your time even if you think you’re too old for them. It’ll take you a delightful year or two to get through them all and that’s wonderful value for your money.
Aimed at helping women track their periods and sexual health, this app takes the mood and activities you choose to record and expresses trends with beautiful charts so you can anticipate symptoms and patterns.
Invite your friends to compete in an Iron Chef-style cooking competition with this scheduler that sends out invites, selects ingredients, times the battles, and designates who cooks, judges, and emcees the fun.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Mystic Bait Ball
Ask a question of this aquatic version of a magic 8 ball and you’ll be rewarded with a dazzling swarming effect before getting answers that promise you’ll “flounder” or find a “shore thing” in your endeavors.