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Posted:
2010-04-27

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

8.6

God of War is probably one of the best fantasy games Sony has ever produced. Ask any game player about the game and they will probably give you not just a brief description but a very detailed one at that. Some may even give you a couple of tips. Give any new detail or development about Kratos and it becomes an instant Internet sensation. No doubt this game has a lot of loyal fans and the legion just keeps getting bigger by the day.

The God of War Collection is a collection of the two previous God of War games available in Play Station 3. Both were equally good games and to have them played side by side is really cool. The stories have not been altered which I believe is really brilliant on the part of Sony since altering it would have ruined the whole game and most like leave a lot of people quite upset with such change. This is a very good example of predictive maintenance or what the old school would describe as, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And since the stories work pretty well, Sony is quite smart in its decision to leave them be.

With no change whatsoever in terms of the game flow, there isn’t much to say about the gameplay but that it is similar to the previous ones. Even if it was released a couple of years back, the experience of playing would still have been as unparalleled as today. The game still remains to be at the top of the pack even after a long span of time and no matter how many times you’ve finished it, you still won’t get bored with doing it all over again. It’s like an addiction – the good kind, of course.

One good thing about releasing this game in PS3 is that you get to experience playing it in high definition. The players look better, the places look more natural, and the whole feel is just breathtaking. During battles, the characters are more responsive to controls and game lags are hardly experienced even when there are a lot of onscreen goings-on. If you’ve played the previous versions then you will most definitely love this improvement.

There are still some minor flaws already encountered in the past that stick with the new release. There are a couple of frames with some shaky camera movements and awkward camera positions. Also, there are collision problems that undeniably need some polishing. However, these are just minor setbacks which hardly make any difference to the overall quality of the game.

If you haven’t played any of the God of War games then this is the perfect opportunity to do so. If you had, then here’s a chance to relive the whole experience one more time. Whatever reason you may have for buying or playing this game, the satisfaction it brings about till the very end is absolutely worth your while. This is a must-have collection you shouldn’t ignore. Grab the opportunity now and start playing God of Wars.

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Posted:
2010-06-17

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

8.6

Red Dead Redemption is an impressive videogame that will take you to the Wild West. Developed by Rockstar, the name behind one of the most popular videogames GTA, Red Dead Redemption offers a quality that has been associated to the trademark of this game developer. From dialogue to presentation, the game approaches every gamer with enthusiasm and excitement.

The storyline of Red Dead Redemption puts you in the character of John Marston, a former outlaw who has travelled to a bizarre location to hunt down a man. The game begins with a train journey which provides a little introduction to the game, but once John Marston gets off the train, you’ll look forward to the adventure that awaits you in the vast Wild West. You’ll journey through broad cactus-filled plains and mountains of countryside that spans through the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

Along your journey, you will get to meet a wonderful supporting cast. The characters present first-rate dialogue which makes you feel as if you’re part of the game. Other characters appear throughout the scene which offers a variety of storyline missions and events. Red Dead Redemption's environment of animals and plants is also one of the highlights in the game as it brings the whole setting into life.

The main story of the game is not that long, but because of dozens of missions, activities and events in the game, there is so much to do and you could spend hours in just doing one thing. These procedural events are the unsystematic events that happen in the game. You will have the chance to have duels, play poker, hunt down outlaws that terrorize towns, herding cattle, sharpshooting challenges and much more. These events allow you to have a lively feeling towards the game world. It keeps the flow of the game diverse and makes the game interesting. If you want a game that will serve as pastime for months, this is the game for you.

Red Dead Redemption gives you the freedom to stroll into the wilds and explore. This is where the game stands out. It offers an enhanced balance to the game in terms of main and secondary missions. It also offers an enjoyable understanding in developing your character. Though there is a legal system in Red Dead Redemption that will restrain the most ill-famed actions in check, you still have the choice whether you do moral or immoral things during any situation. A morality meter, together with a separate fame bar marks your actions and the citizens you meet in the game will begin to respond to your reputation.

Red Dead Redemption is a striking game with its fantastic concentration to detail. Its attention to color is also excellent. The geology of the land is one of the most impressive, making the hills and highlands come to life. The area you can travel around is very vast, dotted with ruins and towns. The game also features outstanding soundtrack that brings you more into the game.

For the multiplayer, the modes of the game are soundly crafted and more amusing especially when playing with your buddies. The multiplayer offers a wide array of missions for players to take on. The mode can reach up to 8 players, but 16 players can fill a lobby at once.

Red Dead Redemption is one of the most enjoyable and most dazzling games ever. There are occasional bugs but these are not enough to stop you from having fun. Red Dead Redemption’s single player and multiplayer modes are superb. There’s no doubt it will entertain you.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

5.6

James Cameron’s recent movie is one those successful movies who fell for the trap of a movie getting tied-in with a game. As a response to the movie’s monstrous hit, comes James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game.

The game and the movie have the same setting which is from a distant moon called Pandora. You can still find the terrifying animals, carnivorous plants, beautiful sceneries, and of course the Na’vi. The problems being faced are still the same. There is still the constant battle between the humans and the inhabitants. Let me just end this movie and game comparison with this statement - if you’ve seen the movie, then you know what to expect.

If you were thrown off the edge of your seat when you watched the movie, I suggest that don’t get your hopes up that much for this game. If only it had the same amount of preparation as the movie, then it would have turned out quite differently and it would have fared better. You know that feeling when you see something and you feel as if it was finished for the sake of being finished on time? It’s like an anti-climax. Unfortunately, that’s what you get when you play this game. The only thing that saves this game is the graphics, which even the movie was well-known for.

You might feel a little blown off the game by now. But don’t fret just yet. The game might not be that good but at least it lets you experience what it is to fight the war from different sides. You have the choice to battle as part of the Na’vi and protect Pandora, or become part of the RDA and fight the inhabitants and finish your mission of extracting minerals in Pandora.

If machines and guns are your preference, then you should take on the RDA campaign. You are provided with different gadgets for you to use as weapons or as defense, whichever might be to your advantage. On the other hand, if you opt for the more primitive style like attacking in close range, then I suggest you fight for the Na’vi. You go back to the basics of having to use staffs, bow and arrow, and knives in this campaign.

The two campaigns are quite different and offer you a whole new perspective; a great strategy on the part of the creators of the game. But unfortunately, both campaigns are just average and neither one is a complete stand-out.

The best part of this game though is not the campaign but the Pandorapedia wherein you get to experience and learn a lot about Pandora. You get to marvel at its wonders and just simply enjoy what you see.

The game in its totality lacks a lot of the “game stuff”, like things that would make you want to throw the controller because you can’t finish a certain level; or if you do, you want to redo it all over again. The game is focused more on the looks of Pandora, leaving all the other elements behind. The controls are poorly developed, the missions lack depth and the fighting leaves you wanting for more.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

8.7

Last year, Xbox 360 owners who are Grand Theft Auto IV fans were given a special treat – the downloadable episodes that extended the story of GTA IV. And just last March, PS3 and PC fans of GTA were also delighted with the same content that Xbox 360 owners had. The disc includes two great additions to GTA IV which are “The Lost and Damned” and “The Ballad of Gay Tony.”

Let’s first tackle The Ballad of Gay Tony. Even in the first ten minutes of the game you are already hijacking a train; carrying it to an empty ball field through a helicopter. Great action here is sustained in the first few minutes of The Ballad of Gay Tony.

It may be a little over-the-top but it will suit the taste of GTA aficionados. If you have missed the outlandishness of GTA: San Andreas, then you would probably enjoy the missions of Gay Tony ratcheting up to preposterousness. The player’s character in Gay Tony is Luis Lopez who is the bodyguard and business associate of the title character. Gay Tony is the famous owner of the hottest straight nightclub and the hottest gay club in the city. But he has gotten himself into a serious trouble. The theme revolves around a successful man slowly losing grip and tumbling down off the ladder of success.

The events in Gay Tony and in Lost and Damned take place at the same time as that of GTA IV. There are lots of characters to meet and you even get to know some bigger crime lords. At one point Luis does a job for Bulgarin who is the top Russian gangster present in the city. Luis takes on an action-packed mission for Bulgarin who wants to take over the hockey team, Liberty City Rampage.

The Lost and Damned on the other hand, offers great missions, as well. The Lost and Damned has the same gameplay mechanics and great storytelling that GTA IV has. It’s like it’s a separate game by itself and not just add-on content.
L&D has a full-fledged campaign, exciting new locations, cool mini-games that include arm-wrestling, gameplay mechanics that are well refined, new and cool vehicles, new weapons, a powerful soundtrack with new DJs, even new TV shows and a new multiplayer mode.

In conclusion, these two additions to the GTA IV are a perfect way to end the saga. What you didn’t know in the main story two years ago, such as what happened to the stolen diamonds, are now revealed. Although the storyline is far from impressive, the additional supporting cast has certainly done some wonders. Though GTA IV and Lost and Damned take place in the same setting which is Liberty City, the two are distinctive from each other.

GTA had indeed made a mark in the video gaming world. And with these two new additions, gamers will surely savor the action of a pure GTA gameplay. So take the opportunity to add two more campaigns to a great collection. You’d probably be surprised to find out you’ve actually missed the noisy, crowded streets of Liberty City.

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Posted:
2010-05-12

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

Sony PSP

8.2

If you have been ignoring the SOCOM series for years, then you might get pulled to the game this time, with the newest franchise, SOCOM: US NAVY SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3. Developed by Slant Six Games and Published by Sony Computer Entertainment, this first-person shooter game is definitely something to look out for in the PSP handheld.

Your character in this game is Wraith, a SEAL squad leader who recently put together a squad made of four men under an ultra hush-hush mission. The story seems to involve a U.S. operative behind Soviet lines and everyone that the government is sending to check on in with the mole never comes back and report. So, the SEALs are moving on their own to get to the bottom of the mystery that has been happening. Fireteam Bravo 3 puts the focus on action with the responsibility resting on your shoulders, which you probably hardly noticed in past SOCOM games.

The guys involved are on Black Ops mission so there is no HQ present, whispering instructions to their ear; no fancy intelligence using 3D; and no rescue boat around the corner. Before embarking on a mission, Wraith and company dwell upon an old map and some black and white photos, discussing their plan of attack. As things go wrong in the inside - a squad mate being held-hostage, for instance, the SEALs then react of their own volition and and move to attack almost impulsively. Another important factor that’s really quite challenging is you can choose how you and your squad may solve each situation.

Indeed, SOCOM absolutely excels in putting you (the player) in Wraith’s shoes. You can give orders to your squad, like tell them to hold their position and then run ahead to kill the patrolling guards stealthily; or you can also send your squad ahead of you and order them to fire at will to clear the path. You can also order them to kick open doors; to contact or toss flash bangs and kill just about everyone that get in your way. With this, you get the feeling that you really have your own team backing you up, as well as counting on you to lead. You get that amazing feeling of being looked up to with the guys taking orders from you and the fabulous sense of satisfaction of knowing that you are able to make your squad function like a very well-oiled machine, when you finally shut the system down.

Overall, the presentation of the game is superbly done. Every mission is presented with the right level of action and the game is also filled with exquisite cutscenes. The graphics also are very good in the sense that the environments and all the action really look good and realistic throughout the game, though one could do with more details on the in-game SEALs. The audio of the game is also nicely done with the great voiceovers and music. However, there are portions where sound drops out in some scenes, especially at the beginning. The gameplay unquestionably earns a thumbs-up; though you might wish that it was a bit harder, and the rocket/helicopter scene could have been totally dumped. You totally feel like a true SEAL when you play this game.

With all its fantastic features, Fireteam Bravo 3 is definitely one good game to play, especially if you’re the type to dig more action. This game surely has the right stuff that keeps you playing on and on for quite a while.

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Posted:
2010-05-14

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

Sony PSP

7.3

In the video gaming world, it seems that LEGO games have been coming out endlessly, and even after a really good half-dozen major console releases and a variety of portable variants, the formula still stays the same. The latest release which is LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues has been available to major consoles but the PSP and Nintendo DS versions of the game are a bit different and offer an unfortunately worse and disappointing experience than on other platforms.

The general formula of the game is not new to us. You start a chapter of the story, then you break everything around you into pieces, then you answer some simple puzzles that oftentimes include moving objects around, then you collect a lot of LEGO pieces and go out to gather and buy new characters, cheats, and all the interesting stuff that are really cool. True to the game's roots, the central gameplay of running around and breaking everything on the way makes you still entertained to a certain degree, but you might say to yourself that all these are not new to you.

What makes the portable version of LEGO Indy 2 different from its major console counterparts is that the story mainly revolves around the fourth film, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There are also flashbacks to the first three movies; though these parts are divided to one-off challenges, which constitute four from each four films that remind you of the classic scenes. They are not direct tributes, though. You may be on a scene where you collect rocks on a rocking boat, which is supposed to be a reversal to the opening of the movie, The Last Crusade per se. Rewards like golden hats are awarded to in these challenges, which is the game's version of the usual golden treasure chests that are vital in unlocking more content.

The disappointing thing with LEGO Indy 2 on PSP and DS is simply the fact that it is boring and the controls seem to be very lopsided. The level design seems to be incredibly boxy, which makes milieu unexciting to travel through. Most of the areas are small, which means that there is only very few exploring to do. Though there are certain scenes where you may want to go back to and try again when you get specific characters that have certain functions, such as digging, climbing or cutting ropes, for example; it seems too much of a linear experience and you get the feeling that the everything is inching for you to even go to the next level.

The controls prove to be worse. The jumping isn't that responsive as it should be and there seems to be a slight pause from when you press the button to the actual jump that the character does. This means that some platform sections are quite annoying. Another example is when you grab a rope and you use it to swing yourself. The action requires you to be really spot-on. All these really contribute to uneven controls of the game.

LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues is equipped with interesting and fun factors but none of the entire experience is really that exciting. The main story is really rather boring and the controls are also very sloppy. It may be good to try this game but there are other far more interesting and exciting games on PSP and DS handheld consoles.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

Sony PSP

8.1

Need for Speed is one of the best and well-embraced racing games of all time. It gives you that adrenaline rush of how it is to be in front of a wheel, driving at a high speed while dodging other cars along the way. Coming from a very successful line, this PSP version falls quite short when compared to its console counterpart but still remains to be relatively better when compared with other portable racing games.

The PSP version still has that arcade feel to it, but minus the customization part this time. The only thing you could alter or change in your car is its color. Thus, all you have to do is just race, beat your competitors, and eventually try to win the race. Maybe they took into consideration the fact that most PSP players just focus on actually playing the game rather than making all those adjustments.

Without all those adjustments or upgrades available for your car, what is there to look forward to after each race then? Luckily, you get to drive different cars; a selection so wide, there are just enough cars to choose from to suit different types of players. But don’t get too keyed up just yet. You just can’t choose which car to drive from at the start. You still have to earn them by unlocking each one whenever you finish a race or when you beat other players in a game.

The game also loses the ability for the player to manually change gears. Instead, cars are set to automatic, taking away the thrill of how it is to actually change gears. Some may think it’s cool but many are of the opinion that it’s a total bust since you are just left with simply stepping on the gas and waiting until it actually climbs up speed. Since it automatically changes gear, it frequently fails to do so and you just notice that the car you’re driving is running low on revs.

The graphics aren’t that bad. There are some places indicating well-thought of locations; others are just downright dull and simply boring. In addition, when you make your way to the city, it doesn’t feel and look as though it is a city. For example, there aren’t much people you could see. And if you could spot a couple, they look kind of weird and just seem to just blend in the crowd instead of popping out.

Its audio however rivals those of its counterparts. Sound effects are placed just right and quite accurately at that. The screeching of the wheels, the changing of the gears, as well as the crashes, all of them sound pretty close to the real thing. The soundtrack of the game is also a good one. It offers you a wide variety of music unlike other racing games that only offer a couple at most, which can get pretty annoying with its repetitious playing.

The PSP version might not be the best among the Need for Speed games; but at least in this game you get to live the experience of driving the best cars in the world, in places you’ve never been to before.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

8.6

People do often say that the greatest ideas are also the simplest. When Nintendo unveiled the four-player mode of the New Super Mario Bros. on Wii, people thought that Nintendo has already lost its creative juices. But now that the New Super Mario Bros. is already here, it's hard to think that the new mode is a downgrade of the legendary game.

The original Super Mario game has a formula that is so easy to understand that its very simplicity became its charisma in the video gaming industry. You just run make left and right turns, and jump until you reach the new level. That's it. There are no sophisticated moves or weapons. Just try one level, do the same moves over and over; and you'd probably get the whole trick. Amazingly, it appears to be the charm that has made the game quite famous to date.

This new Super Mario game on Wii reiterates the same Super Mario world vibe. It has playful ingenuity, lumpy environmental hazards, and power-ups that have been refined almost perfectly. This new Super Mario game might not be totally original but much of the game remains familiar to gamers who have played previous classic games by Nintendo. This new game is infused with Nintendo's trademark of excellence in design, using the traditional Mario figures and giving it a new twist.

Mario has new abilities in this game that have very significant improvements from the DS game's largely superficial inclusions. Here, the propeller outfit and penguin suit play a vital part in the game. These two can grant you abilities that will be to your advantage when used wisely. You can zip over troublesome areas, freeze enemies to become ice cubes and use them to defeat multiple enemies or have better maneuverability underwater.

Also one of the game's favorite characters, Yoshi is back, too! It adds up to the game being skillfully designed; and has remained as family-friendly as ever. Nintendo might be pushing the multiplayer focus on Wii; but it is absolutely a bona fide Mario platform, whether played alone or in groups.

Speaking of the new multiplayer mode, it is also unquestionably fun. You can have a full group of friends play with you in either story-mode or multiplayer-specific extras, New Super Mario have become thoroughly compulsive with its chaos that is hilariously slapdash. What makes it an incredible game is its lack of enforced objectives. The game is not competitive and not even cooperative. The main goal is, to reach the end. This alone makes the New Super Mario Bros. a superb, relaxing, undemanding game to play.

The overall presentation is stunning, to put it modestly. Nintendo has polished it flawlessly this time. The graphics also look astounding. It may not be the best but the combination of 2D and 3D graphics works so faultlessly. The audio and sound effects also accompany and complement the game so well. With familiar ditties and new arrangements, players will no doubt have the most enjoyable fun time with the game. I bet you're toying with the question, And the gameplay Awesome! Though it remains true to its roots, it doesn't detract from working perfectly and giving players pure, unadulterated fun.

Sure, Super Mario might come as quite too familiar. A new game with the same good mechanics might not wow us to the extreme. The thing is, it's a Nintendo classic, with new twists, enhanced appearance and much improved features - and that says a lot!

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo DS

7.6

Nintendo has been very busy with their gaming. On November 25, 2008 they released Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force for Nintendo DS console. Elite Penguin Force or more commonly known in the game for its shortcut EPF is a cool spy agency that aims to keep Club Penguin safe; the very same Club Penguin of Walt Disney you’ve been playing online.

Club Penguin is an adventure where a single player plays as a covert member of one of the penguins in the Elite Penguin Force. Here, the gamer travels around an island and is supposed to assist other penguins; and needs to sometimes crack mysteries along the process. There are also confidential missions that the player has to finish. These missions are exclusive for Nintendo DS consoles.

Being a game that is more geared into the adventurous side, it heavily relies on the plot; and luckily, Club Penguin has an excellent one. Children would really love the game for all its humor and action packed adventures.

Club penguin offers mini games that include fishing, dancing, snowboarding and other touchscreen games that can be played over and over at any given time in any place during the game. This is a way to earn coins which are important for getting costumes and other add-ons.

Earning coins is vital in the game; and Club Penguin, being inspired from an online Disney game, has the ability to transfer earned coins from the Nintendo DS version to the online game through wireless connections as long as they are using the same account. How cool is that! Moreover, players can simultaneously play on the online community and get those special features the game has to offer, through the Nintendo DS. Awesome! You can also make your own three-dimensional avatars, build your own profile, talk with friends and enjoy sharing Club Penguin accessories. Using the same wireless connection also allows you to get newer missions and achieve in-game honors. This game just reeks of absolutely fantastic!

Well, okay, so not absolutely; the features have its slight drawbacks, too. They are made for the younger generation; which means the interface design is leaning on a much simpler side where children can easily move along in the game. Its simplicity can be a bit boring for some adults who are much more used to high-tech graphics; but they work wonders for the little gamers. The game also has its ambiguities that can be confusing to players, making it tougher to deal with the game at times. Getting stuck can be an agonizing ordeal. The game also entails lots of reading; lots and lots of them. The saving factor is they’re easy to read.


All in all this is a fabulous game; not only for little kids but for teens, too. They are simple but adventurous enough for kids to enjoy. The ability to use wireless connections to relate your Nintendo account to the original online game is a huge plus; and you can just constantly play without having to put your PC to tremendous wear and tear every time you play. Given that there are still very limited adventurous games on DS at the moment, this charming game can serve as a gateway for more challenging games of this genre in the DS console format.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo DS

8.0

With the success of the well-received and widely popular Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, it was just too good an opportunity to pass and not make a sequel; so after two years, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games was finally released. It still offers the players the same 27 events based on the core disciplines of the Olympic Games which features both classic and dream events. The once popular sprints and pole vaults however, are now replaced with snowboarding, hockey, skiing, skating, curling, and many more. What’s great in this new version is that you can choose which sport to play from the very start.

The game’s dream events filled with beautiful settings like rolling hills, gleaming snow, and clear blue skies makes this game interesting. The only downside to this is that each dream event mode requires unlocking done by single-player mode or multiplayer mode. What’s more annoying is that most of the events in the game are not worth the time it takes to unlock the different dream events. But what did you really expect? It would be such a bore if everything was simply handed down, right?

The one event in this game which really rocks is curling. Not many people know what this sport is but I guess once they get to know what it is they’ll get hooked. Curling is a mix of bocce ball, shuffleboard, and horseshoes. Simply put, the player who throws rocks closest to the target wins. It might seem ordinary but what makes this game fun is that the developers incorporate the actual game into how you control each throw. Speed, strength, and different ways of countering each throw can be controlled giving you full power of how it turns out. Say goodbye to blaming it all on the computer for your failure.

Working your way through the game can be such a bust when it becomes repetitive. Each event can be replayed until you reach the necessary skill level you wish to have. The tracks and courses are predetermined so once you have already played it; it won’t excite you as much as it did the first time around. The controls were also made to be user-friendly making it somewhat easy even for casual players. But hey, not everyone gets good at it that fast.

Besides the different events, Mario & Sonic also offer players a chance to some party games namely balloon popping and wheel spinning. These are strategically placed randomly before the start of each Olympic event.

This game might get you hooked right away but it will also bore you as fast as it enticed you. The whole package could have been put together better if it had been more exciting games and if the controls were as engaging as it hoped to be. It fails in comparison to the previous Olympic game in terms of graphics but it makes up for it in terms of being imaginative. Overall, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is a disappointment. But if you are that type of person who enjoys unlocking levels and stages then this game is just enough to keep you distracted or busy for the moment since the events are really not that mind-blowing. Still, it will not stop anyone, both kids and those kids at heart, from enjoying it especially during gatherings.


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