Let’s get through a lot of reviews today, OK?
Ultimate Band (Nintendo DS): Everybody’s got a band game, these days and this one, for the Nintendo hand-held, allows gamers to create real music using lead, rhythm and bass guitars plus drums. You can play with friends via Wi-Fi and this one is easy to pick up (Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars).
PopStar Guitar (Nintendo Wii/PS2): Told you everybody had a band game, right? XS Games loads this one with a special controller on the Wii version and more than 50 songs from artists like the Jonas Brothers, Rihanna and Maroon 5. Nice to have one of these music games be not so much about one genre of music (hard rock).
Using the “Air G” controller for Wii (the version I prefer here), you take the “role” of a lead guitarist for a battle of the bands competition, or you can go solo. There are six female and six male characters to choose from and 60 guitars and 10 drum sets. Your family will have fun with this one (Rating: 3 out of 4 stars)
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (Xbox 360): Sonic-like game heroes Banjo and Kazooie face off with the evil witch Gruntilla (gotta love that name). The winner gets control of Spiral Mountain. The evil “Lord Of Games” is tired of the fighting between the heroes and witch and designs a series of challenges you must get through to win. Only the witch keeps trying to stop you.
In the battle, you’ll built boats and planes and use them in the fight. Graphics are really good and you can play online, too. I liked the fast-paced play (Rating: 3 out of 4 stars).
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (Xbox 360/PS3): This game looks amazing and traces the adventures of Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo on a mission to save the African safari. A multiplayer mode should make for some fun family times this holiday, too (Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars)
Carnival Games MiniGolf (Wii): This is a the goony golf of video games. It’s got 25 holes on nine golf course, that are more theme park than golf course. It’s easy to play and definitely more for the putt-putt crowd than the hardcore golfer. Taken for what it is, it’s not bad (Rating: 2 out of 4 stars)