FutureFive NZ - Monaco Previews - Monaco

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Monaco Previews - Monaco

Game Console was kindly invited by Monaco’s Brand Manager, Gary Russell to preview some of their new games for the Xmas season. I was extremely excited by the prospect of seeing anything at all relating to Haze, Assassin’s Creed, and Naruto: Rise of a Ninja (salivating is probably a better word).

Amidst pieces of pizza and Pepsi cola, I was really impressed with Monaco’s line up for the next quarter and was especially amped for Gary to take us through both game demo’s of Ubisoft’s biological shooter title Haze and the outrageously hyped (yet very deserved), Assassin’s Creed also by Ubisoft.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games
First on the agenda was the Sega sports fest Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games for the Wii. Whilst I am not personally a Sonic or a particularly a Mario fan, I liked the content of this game and the way it looked. With the interactivity of the Wii, this game looks like it’s going to be a great Xmas day pressie for the kids and a nice family game for everyone to get into. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games should really come with a warning sticker though – something along the lines of “The interactivity level of this game COULD prove hazardous to your body, if unfit”.

WWE: Smackdown VS RAW 2008
Whilst the world of competitive wrestling may be lost on some of us, the video game of the same is seriously good fun. I never figured myself to be fan of any type of wrestling game but I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw of WWE: Smackdown VS Raw 2008
We saw two versions of the game being Wii and Xbox 360. I preferred the Xbox 360 version for aesthetics (obviously) but the Wii version seemed to be a lot more fun simply because you can actually control the moves in the game interactively and with a wrestling game, it’s all about the moves. It’s also very easy to work up a sweat trying to throw down your opponent into a ‘Half-Nelson’. If you’re a fan of wrestling games, you won’t want to miss out on this little beauty.

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja
I am a huge anime fan. Yes, I am. Unfortunately, I only managed to watch seven episodes of the Naruto anime. The games however are a totally different experience. Although fighting games do have their own ‘niche’ area in the gaming community, Naruto Rise of a Ninja is one of the first Naruto games I have seen that attempts to break the fighting mould and ever-so-slightly places its foot tentatively in the RPG arena as well as retaining all of the cool fighting sequences Naruto games are known for. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Well, that isn’t all this game does well. Not only does the game play great, it looks absolutely superb. The cell-shading techniques used to define the graphics in this game have to be seen to be believed. Everything is so beautifully crisp and just looks heavenly. As soon as Naruto was loaded onto the Xbox 360, I was sold. Naruto Rise of a Ninja is a game that follows the traditional Naruto genre including the way that the anime storylines all synch together which is what gives this game the distinctively different ‘RPG’ theme as opposed to being a straight out fighter. And of course the fight sequences are masterfully scripted. And another first for Naruto Rise of a Ninja relates to the development of the game, which is a conjoint effort by both US and Japanese developers. Not that the Japanese developed games were any less appealing to their niche audience, but I noticed the difference in this game straight away. Even though the appearance of the game may be very ‘western’, the original Japanese elements that have made the game so popular in the past have been retained. And that’s great news for fans of the franchise!

Since we are under strict instructions not to talk too much about our next two delicious pieces of gaming goodness, all I can tell you about the demo of Haze is that Gary was nice enough to take us through (I tried as hard as I could to coerce him into giving me a go but to no avail) the demo and pointed out some fairly awesome and mind-blowing aspects of the game which, I can’t reveal. What I can say is that before I saw this demo of the game and had the various game aspects explained to me, I wasn’t even remotely interested. Believe you me, Haze is a MUST have if you’re any kind of fan of shooters, action and um… bumblebees?

Assassin’s Creed
The title that everyone has heard about and yet another title that I can’t even whisper to you about without getting sent off to jail. What I will tell you is that Assassin’s Creed is SO much more than what you think (and no, I don’t know any of the juicy details. Like everyone else, I refer to YouTube for my information) and will be spectacular upon release – I stake my reputation on it.

Gary, you are a machine and a loyal employee standing your ground at the hands of one intrepid and desperate magazine editor. I applaud you for a job well done

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