Only on the Nintendo GameCube
    Published by Sega
    Developed by Amusement Vision
    Genre: Puzzle 1-4 Players
    Reviewed By: Tom McGuire

    Super Monkey Ball (Released November 18th, 2001) was a great game, but within a year later, Super Monkey Ball 2 was developed and released with a boatload of 6 new mini-games, over 150 floors to play on and more.

    Game Modes

    There are single and multi player modes to be had in SMB2, so let?s start by talking about the single player. For those of you who are not familiar with the franchise, you are a monkey encased in a ball, and using the control stick, you tilt the board around like a 21st century labyrinth. But that catch is that the board may have obstacles like holes, moving parts and ramps on it. When I saw that there was going to be a sequel to the previous hit, I really was looking forward to this game. In this installment, there is a new story mode in which you play through 10 floors at a time, and view a little movie that progresses the story. Story mode can be good and bad; good because you have infinite lives, but bad because once you complete the floor, you can?t do it again to possibly get a better score. The multi-player mode is a different yarn. There are 6 new mini-games in addition to the 6 older, retrofitted mini-games to choose from: Monkey Race, Fight, Target, Golf, Pool, Bowling, Boat, Soccer, Tennis, Shot, Dogfight, and Baseball. All of them are OK, but not stellar games to begin with. The ones that really shine, though, are Target and Dogfight.


    The graphic quality is great in this game from the low-polygon, and the backgrounds are beautiful, as is the front end! One of the levels that I really like is: ?In the Whale? in which the background is like an underground city. You can watch the water flow back as the whale presumably lurches forward. Scenes like this really show off the excellent graphics.


    The sound in this game is as good as the graphics are, although the voice acting gets annoying at times. This game apparently supports surround sound, so that is kind of cool. The music in the game isn?t as good as its brother, but it is still great; I guess it kind of lost that peppy ?Get-to-the-finish-soon!? touch to it.


    From a Christian standpoint, here is the lowdown: At the end of most of the cinematics in story mode, there is a 30-second magical session where the monkeys gather and all chant a harmonic verse and say ?The magical spell is Ei-Ei-Poo.?. To avoid this part, you can simply press the start button when this scene comes up.

    Final Ratings

    Game Play: 10/10 (A+) Sound: 8.5/10 (B) Graphics: 9/10(A-) Appropriateness: 7.5/10 (B-) Lasting Appeal: 10/10 (B+)

    Overall: 90%

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    Werewolves Within
    Developed by: Red Storm Entertainment
    Published by: Ubisoft
    Release date:  December 6, 2016
    Available on: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PSVR
    Genre: Party
    Number of Players: 5-8 online
    ESRB Rating: Everyone with mild fantasy violence
    Price: $29.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Ubisoft for sending us this game to review!

    Multiple attacks on the medieval village of Gallowston has the townspeople in a panic.  In order to survive they must rid themselves of the werewolves who are disguised as villagers.  A town meeting has been arranged and it’s up to the attendees to figure out who the fakes are and eliminate them.  Naturally, there’s a randomly assigned werewolf or two in the meeting.  There are other attendees with various abilities and agendas of their own.

    The werewolves want to survive and would like to shift the townsfolk’s suspicion on to the saint who knows the identity of at least one of the werewolves.  Villagers don’t have much power other than electing a ring leader who can cast two votes on who to execute.  If a tracker is in the group, they can sense if a wolf is on one side of them.  Every town has a gossip and Gallowston is no exception.  The gossip can learn the roles of two players, but they have a 50/50 chance of being right.  

    Before the game starts, you learn your role (which cannot be changed) along with other potential roles.  Once the seven-minute match begins, you won’t have access to that information again.  The astrologer can learn about a role that is definitely in the game while the drifter can deduce two roles that are definitely not in this match.  

    Werewolves Within

    Strong Points: Fun party game for VR owners; cross-platform support; did not take long to find online players 
    Weak Points: Minor audio issues that were resolved when someone lowered their TV volume
    Moral Warnings: You have to lie to do well or conceal your identity in this game; mysticism 

    Surprisingly, not everyone is against the werewolves.  The turncoat knows who the werewolves are and wins if they are spared.  Last but not least is the deviant, who wants to become a martyr for the werewolves and wins if they get executed in their place.

    In order to get started, five to eight players need to join a match.  Due to the cross-platform support, finding people to play against wasn’t a problem.  The only technical glitches I have experienced was not being able to navigate the game’s menu due to my camera not being configured, and some echoing due to a television being too loud for one of the players.  Fortunately, both problems are easy to fix.

    The biggest issue I have with playing this game is a moral one.  The 9th commandment states that we are not to bear false witness against our neighbor.   In order to do well in Werewolves Within, you HAVE to lie.  

    Werewolves Within
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 80%
    Gameplay - 16/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 4/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 81%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 2.5/10

    It’s one thing to lie to NPCs in games, but lying to real people made this a bit more complicated and weighed heavily on my conscience.  To make matters worse, it’s unavoidable.  One of the first questions typically asked is what our roles are.  Responding with “werewolf” seems illogical.  Then there’s the whole issue of trying to falsely accuse someone in order to save your own skin/hide.  

    The game is well polished, especially with the character animations that change with voice inflections.  Though this game is rated for everyone, you never know who you will be playing with online.  While I didn’t run into any trolls or unpleasant people, I did play with a few people that swore a lot.

    If you don’t have an issue with language or lying I’m sure you’ll enjoy this VR party game.  It's very similar to the Mafia party game.   As of this review there’s plenty of people to play against which is good for a game that’s online only.  The price is a bit steep at $30, but is well worth it if you enjoy fooling people for hours on end.  

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    Word Party
    Developed by: Lightwood Games
    Published by: Lightwood Games
    Release Date: November 12, 2015
    Available on: Wii U
    Genre: Party
    Number of Players: Up to five
    ESRB Rating: Everyone
    Price: $14.99

    Thank you Lightwood Games for sending us a digital copy of Word Party!

    There are many fun party games out there, but few of them are educational and fun at the same time.  Lightwoord Games sets out to change that with Word Party for the Wii U. Word Party supports up to five players with one of them using the gamepad while the others use the Wii remotes.  I like how it uses the Miis from the Wii U system.

    One thing that we didn’t like however, was the unfair advantage the player with the gamepad had over the Wii remotes.  For example, a couple of the mini-games are word find variants.  Using the gamepad’s touch screen is SIGNIFICANTLY easier than accurately dragging the Wii remotes to select the word(s) in question.  

    Another frustrating issue is that many of the mini-games do not give the players enough time to complete the task at hand. Factor in the unfair advantage of the gamepad and there may be some close calls for tears of frustration from younger players.  We usually let our youngest child use the gamepad because giving new readers only a few seconds to count how many instances of the letter “F” appear in a paragraph is quite challenging if not impossible.   


    Strong Points: Can be used as a learning tool
    Weak Points: Many of the games are stingy with the amount of time given; the player using the gamepad will have an unfair advantage
    Moral Warnings: The word hell appears in some of the mini games; other swear words are possible with player input; outdated dictionary doesn’t consider “blog” a valid word

    One glitch worth mentioning is that during one of the mini-games the background music stopped playing, but it resumed again during the next mini-game.  Other than that issue, we had no problems running or playing the game.

    With the negative aspects out of the way, let’s focus on the positive areas of the game.  There are many educational mini-games that will ask the players to identify the proper spelling or definition of a word.  One of the fourteen unlockable mini-games has players choosing which two-letter words are legitimate amongst the phonies.    

    When Word Party is first launched it only comes with fourteen mini-games that are randomly selected in the six round gaming session.  The remaining half of the games are gradually unlocked as the game is played more and more.  There’s a practice mode where players can choose which mini-game they want to play to perfect their skills or to just play their favorite one.  Playing games in practice mode does not count towards unlocking more mini-games.  


    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 70%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 4/5
    Controls - 3/5

    Morality Score - 96%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 8/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    One of my kid’s favorite mini-games was called Graffiti.  In this mini-game the players had to spray paint all the words on the brick wall that applied to the randomly picked theme.  One of the mini-games that was our least favorite was a robot factory where you had to combine three body parts of a robot with two letters on each part to form a valid word.  

    Some of words included and excluded in the game’s dictionary surprised me.  One of the mini-games begins with a four letter word that each player swaps out one of the letters to form a new word.  It was in this game that I discovered that cussing is a possibility (tested with sh*t and d*mn).  I was surprised to see that the word “blog” was not considered a valid word.  One of the mini-games called Whack-A-Vowel has four lettered words that appear rapidly and you have to tap them if they have the specified vowel in them.  The word hell was one of the options in this mini-game.

    Other than those minor issues, Word Party is a family friendly game that has some educational potential.  It also has its fair share of flaws too.  While my kids didn’t mind playing it in short spurts, they preferred to play other party games we own instead.   The price is a reasonable $15 on Nintendo’s eShop.  


Latest Comments

Latest Downloads

About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

S5 Box

JFusion Login Module