The gaming market changes from time to time, with developers focusing on a different range of gamers. The family market seems to be the desired target market these days with Nintendo releasing the Wii and Microsoft releasing more and more family friendly games. Well, EA have decided to jump on the cash cow and have teamed up with Hasbro to bring us the Hasbro Family Game Night. You can download the HFGN for free but each individual game costs a staggering 800MS Points. In this review I am going to cover one of my childhood favourites, Battleships.
Straight after loading up Battleships my fond memories of the blue box and placing the ships in the grid came flooding back. It’s been a few years since I last threw on my Captains hat and dived into the Battleships mindset; so to say the least, I was smiling with glee. I jumped aboard the classic game mode first in order to get a feel for the game. Now since it had been a wee while since I had last played the game, I forgot how quickly the game can become boring and a little bit dull. After a couple of games I decided to try out the more interesting game variation EA have included. Power mode adds some much needed spice to the classic version of the game by adding the use of special power weapons and decoy boats. Special weapons like multiple bombs and bombs that can take out a full column are included. This certainly makes the game a lot more enjoyable, as it’s faster and not every game is the same, unlike when playing the classic game.
All of this is only fun to an extent against the AI. The best fun comes when playing an offline 2 player game. “How can that work though?” I hear you ask. Well I asked the very same question, and was impressed with what EA have done here. Now obviously it would be silly to assume that each player turn their back while the other player takes his or her shot every time, so instead you turn your back once while your opponent organises the placement of their boats and vice versa. If you feel that – in my case my little brother – your opponent can’t resist the temptation of peeking, you can quickly close your box with a touch of the button. It’s quite funny actually. The best game mode for 2 players is without a doubt the Power mode. It’s more fun, games are a lot faster, and like previously mentioned, games are always different. There’s also nothing better in Battleships than sinking a real life opponent’s ship, especially in the way that it does in the game.
Unlike the real version of the game there are lots of animations in Battleships. While the ships don’t physically move for obvious reasons, the water swirls around inside the blue box, and when bombs are dropped they plunge into the water or in some cases blow up part of the ship, while at the same time oozing with the bright colours of orange, red and yellow.
If you feel like you have conquered the offline world, head online and conquer LIVE. Wait, you would be able to if anyone actually played the game online, but I have stumbled across some reasons as to why people don’t play the game on Xbox LIVE. My first reason being the fact that after 3 or 4 games of Battleships, many gamers, including myself, will want to go and play something different and more challenging on the brain. So you have to be very lucky to go online at the same time as someone else in the world, then to load up a game at the same time. That’s the problem with a game like Battleships, at around 4 games the 5th verges on becoming boring. My second reason has got to be the price stumbling block. At 800MS Points it’s not cheap, especially with the games on the arcade that you can get for the same price. If the game was priced at 400Ms Points I would be telling you that it’s a worthy purchase. Thirdly you can actually go down to a major supermarket and pick up the pocket version of the game for about a four pound. So I just don’t see enough reason to spend 800MS Points on this game.
For those reasons, I suggest you check out the trial first, check to see if any of your LIVE mates have the game to play online, and then check you have enough points and that you don’t want to buy another arcade game. It is fun, but only in the short term. Trial would have been enough for me to satisfy my nostalgia needs, but we are all different.