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Avatar Wave: Snowball Fight Review
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Anyone for a yellow snow cone?

When I was younger I was asked if I wanted a yellow snow cone. At the tender age of 8 years old it sounded like a fantastic idea. What could be the wonderful delights of said product? Lemon or perhaps tropical in taste my hopes were immediately dashed when I found it to be rather bitter, steamy and smelling a little like my great grand mother. So ever since, I’ve never been a fan of snow, especially when I found out that a yellow snow cone was in fact someone’s urea. If anyone wanted to know the question of, what do you do after eating one then the answer is; gargle with Listerine. This then brings me on to today’s game. Any game that uses snow that isn’t related to snowboarding or some winter Olympic type event and I get slightly dubious of its quality and its seriousness of being a decent title, so how will Avatar Wave: Snowball Fight fair?

A lovely quaint Christmasy location

Before reviewing this game, I decided to eat a mince pie, turn off the central heating and play thirty minutes worth of Cliff Richard in a vein attempt to feel in the Christmas spirit. AWSF was a game designed to sell its units at the holiday season instead of February when we picked this up for review. So what is the premise of the game, well it does exactly what it says on the tin (Ronseal Wood Stain) sorry box, no sorry err…virtual packaging? You’re tasked with having snowball fights with other rascal avatars in a fight for supremacy of frostbite of the hand. The game takes place on an elegant old fashion village area where snow is scattered everywhere with Christmas lights in abundance. You and you’re opponents scramble and scurry to collect snow and pack them into balls to be thrown. Aiming isn’t 100% manual, it’s somewhat locked on but the power meter is mixed in to help you with your short or long targets.

Now, in terms of game play modes Hotwave Games have given plenty of offerings. You have your arcade mode where you have to beat a mixture of stages. These can start out from being contested in a 1 on 1 and later to a 2 on 1 situation. In a 1 on 1 situation it is rather easy to say the least however once you’re against the odds you will have to do allot of ducking and weaving to win the matches. Now there are also some power-ups that can be had too, ones that increase the power of your shot, create tri-snowball throws and ones that allow you to throw curveball shots. There are also foods to keep you warm and candy that can give you a good or nasty surprise. So when playing online, it really offers an extra level of strategy to the game play to help you stay alive during matches and beat opponents.

Speaking of multiplayer, it’s supported and it works well. No lag, 1-4 support and no graphics have been compensated to bring the experience online and although the lobbies were rather empty, we actually found the odd person looking for matches which really surprised me. I was expecting this title to be no fun at all, but when put against one of your online or local friends it’s actually a good short burst of fun game play. Fortunately the game keeps a tally of who has won the most rounds as well. That’s not all though, if you are a glutton for punishment AWSF also has a Survival mode whereby you are pitted against 3 avatars gunning to take you down. This will require allot of rolling out of the way, which can be executed seamlessly with the B button. A couple of reviewers have criticized the aiming system on this game, but I have to disagree. If you were to assign a targeting system to the shoulder buttons, it would make the game stupidly easy. Putting them on a directional stick actually gives the sense of feeling that you’re in fact making manual shots even with semi-lock on.

Let the games begin.

For those willing to make the most out of the game there is also a secret shooting game where you can ascertain more information on the game itself and lest not forget that there is a screensaver on the game also which you can customize, it’s nice touch, if a little pointless. So, can we really recommend this title? It hits around a conversion rate £1.89 to your wallet and I have to be honest I can think of some 80 Microsoft Point gems that I would recommend you spend your money on over this. Sure, the graphics have allot of polish and perhaps this somewhat reflects the price tag a little but if the game play has no sticking point to it, then its useless. I can only recommend this then if you are in the holiday spirit. AWSF is certainly the best holiday themed game on Xbox Indie right now, so perhaps when the mulled wine comes out for another year, you may consider a donning your best set of thermos and throw a snowball or two.

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