PUBLISHER: Square Enix
SYSTEM: Sony PlayStation 3
ESRB RATING: E10+
REVIEW RATING: 4.0 stars (out of 5)
Gamers can be grouped in two categories: those that sincerely love "Kingdom Hearts," and those that aren't the slightest bit interested. There's no "in-between" because whoever gets past the focus on cartoon characters finds a series that's not only fun to play, but also speaks to their inner child.
"Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX" brings an enhanced version of "Kingdom Hearts 2" into the HD realm and also adds two portable games to the PS3 bundle. "KH: Birth by Sleep" was originally released on the Sony PSP in 2010, and "KH: Re-Coded" was released on the Nintendo DS in 2011. While the first is faithfully reconstructed on the PS3, the latter ends up being stripped down to an interactive Disney movie.
It's not surprising to find that "Kingdom Hearts 2" is the best offering found in this title. After enduring the slow pace of the first few hours, I really enjoyed returning to the convoluted saga that throws together a wide variety of Disney and Final Fantasy characters. To be honest, I enjoyed grouping them up and battling enemies much more than the storyline!
The addition of gorgeous HD visuals and new Disney worlds, like the Timeless River from Steamboat Willie and "KH2" is very appreciated. Add new abilities, boss fights, side missions, Sora's new drive mode and a new dungeon to the mix, and the result is a game that every fan will enjoy revisiting.
On the other hand, "Birth by Sleep" only has a new epilogue and several optional boss battles to round out the new HD visuals. Still, it's a decent chapter in the series that most people will experience for the first time on the PS3. It's too bad that "Re-coded" has been re-tooled into a glorified HD movie, because a third game would have been a welcome addition to "Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX."
DEVELOPER: Mighty Rabbit Studios
PUBLISHER: Relevant Games
SYSTEM: Windows Download
ESRB RATING: Everyone
REVIEW RATING: 4.0 stars (out of 5)
I couldn't help but laugh at the premise of "Fat Chicken" until I realized that it's really not that far off from the truth. This reverse-tower defense game tasks players with fattening up livestock to ensure they make a profit at the slaughterhouse. Once you get past the dark humor, it's a bloody good time.
Players take on the role of a factory farm manager whose main motivation is blood money, aka murderbux. Murderbux is earned by helping chickens, pigs and cows make it from each farm to the slaughterhouse in good health. This is achieved by placing various towers along each path that fire out helpful projectiles such as food, water and growth hormones. Want to make them even fatter? They simply add unnatural meat nodules with the Genet-O-Cannon!
Different livestock need food and health at different intervals or else they'll die of starvation and/or dehydration. However, it's up to the player to determine how much hormones should be used to fatten them up. Too little and the livestock won't weigh enough to make a profit. Too much and they explode into a bloody mess! Also, make sure to shoot down pesky UFO's before they snatch cows and take them into oblivion.
Another deterrent from profits are the annoying longhaired hippie protesters that attack random towers. Getting rid of them requires hiring security to defend each tower that's being attacked. It's also possible to hire farm hands on each tower that hurry livestock along their path, which is helpful on long stretches. Additional variety is achieved by hiring heroes with helpful abilities such as increasing the chance of livestock having offspring.
An extensive upgrade system and a fun single-player campaign help ensure that "Fat Chicken" receives a passing grade!
REVIEW SCORING SYSTEM
5 stars = Must Have
4 stars = Very Good
3 stars = Above Average
2 stars = Bargain Bin
1 star = Don't Bother
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
E10+: (Everyone 10 and older)
T: Teen (13 and older)
M: Mature (17 and older)
To find out more about Jeb Haught and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.