I finally beat the single player Story Mode in Mario Party 4 last night. I was pretty impressed with the final sequence, a Mario Partified boss fight with Bowser. Every review of the game mentions how boring the single player mode is to play. Yeah, the game was made for multiplayer, but I wouldn't call it boring when played alone. The thing about Mario Party is that it's so annoyingly random at times that you really have to pay attention to hold the lead. Even with my three COM opponents set to Easy, I still lost several games in 1P. All Easy gets you is an almost guaranteed dominance in mini-games; you still have to be on guard for star stealing, item attacks, and that terrible Reversal of Fortune.
My only gripe about MP4 is that there's not enough mini-games. In one evening's play of 3 boards, I kept hitting the same games over and over again. Many of the games are really long too... so yet another round of "Blame It On The Crane" or "Cliffhangers" becomes unbearable.
As I was telling Xian earlier today, Metroid Prime is like an action platformer from a first person perspective. Or perhaps a first person shooter with jumping puzzles and boss fights. Or a thinking man's FPS. What all that doesn't tell you is how compelling it is, but I figure there's a million glowing reviews out there that can tell you that.
More so than any first-person game I've played, Metroid Prime really makes use of the HUD. Everything is designed to make you feel like you're in that helmet... from water splashes to energy crackles to water condensation. And then there's this...
Every now and then, when the light is just right, you'll get a quick reflection of Samus's face in the visor. (Screenshot from IGN Cube.)
I'm still working on my review of Kingdom Hearts. Since there's so much I want to say, I'm just talking through the game level by level. It will probably end up being 4 pages long, but I'll pack in different screenshots per page so it's worth clicking through. The latest EGM rumors that a sequel is coming, but not until PlayStation3.