“Ring a Bell?” is our new look-back series of articles, covering games and subjects that we either missed, were before our time or are worth visiting again. Today we start with an odd choice – the Flatout racing games, and in particular Flatout 2.

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After playing the demo for a while, SkyDrift most reminds me of the old Burnout and Flatout racing series. The power ups are fun, but the act of getting boost by doing daring maneuvers like hugging the ground, doing stunts or wrecking other planes was the biggest high for me. Could I fly along the ground long enough to catch up to the plane in front of me to hit them with my double-strength burst power up? Only way to find out is to try – and the penalty for failure is minimal. Crashing is no big deal, since you respawn in next to no time. This encourages experimenting and that’s when the game is at it’s best.

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Betasim and I are both big Katamari fans, so after seeing that this game was basically a dead-ringer for that series, we had to give it a go. What we found was a game that didn’t get far enough from it’s inspiration to set itself apart and be it’s own game. WeotW is a fun diversion, but only because of it’s low price.

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Mario Kart Wii is a great game for getting the family together or inviting over your friends who don’t play games. Just fire it up, hand them a Wii Wheel, and you’re off to a great time. However, for the more competitive of us, and for serious racers who’ve been with the series since the beginning, it’s a mixed bag at best. Continue reading

I, Alphasim, have personally only played the original Katamari Damacy and now this, Beautiful Katamari. I was going to have Betasim review this because she’s played – and beaten – all of the games in the series, but she’s being reclusive. So, I’m going to attempt to review this myself. Continue reading

The Bigs is like baseball-gone-NBA Jam. Big hits, big collisions, big plays, big everything. It actually kind of resembles the old Triple Play games of the late ’90s and early 2000s in a way, in that they were basically comic book-level baseball games with cartoony sound effects and over-the-top action like that found here, although not quite to this extent. The game is actually fun for a time, but would be better suited to the arcade to be played in short bursts. Continue reading

Mario and the gang are at it again, only this time they’ve taken to the diamond instead of the clay courts. With baseball as your game and Mario as your guide, you just know you’re in for a riot of a time. Does it deliver? The answer is clearly Thwomp-grey. Continue reading

Mario and his pals have played tennis before, and it was a right good time. The N64 edition was a hit, another Ace in the books for Nintendo. People wondered what they were going to do for a Gamecube version. Was it going to be a mere graphical upgrade, or did they have another trick up their sleeves? Well, now that the game is out, I can tell you that it’s definitly Game, Set, and Match for Nintendo. Continue reading