Category Archives: games

“Being a Mom is Great” Moved to SoapboxMom.com!!

It’s official!

The Being a Mom is Great blog will now be called simply, SOAPBOX MOM!

Soapbox Mom Avatar

So, BMG Mom (aka bimmgee) is now soapbox mom or “SoapB” or Soapbox or soap!

Please join me over there now at soapboxmom.com.

And, when you find it, please let me know you did by leaving a comment.  As always, I appreciate your support!

😉

Also, if you’ve been so kind as to include me on your blogroll, please add me back as Soapbox Mom (and if I’ve lost your site, just let me know and I’ll be sure to add it right back onto my blogroll)!

Thanks!!

See you on the soapbox!!

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Filed under Children, Entertainment, family, Fun, games, life, parenting, personal, Thoughts

Top Picks – Video Games for Tweens

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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Updated 1.27.08 (see below for new info about Super Smash Bros Brawl)!!

As summer winds down and we find that our kids have played way more video games than we allow during the school year, our family decided to put together a list of games that we love to play.

We’re hoping this will help readers who are a bit overwhelmed by the myriad choices. If you want to buy a gift for someone and have no idea what to get, maybe our list will narrow down your options.

So…

Here it is!

The first annual Top Video Games for Tweens (on 4 platforms).

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SONY PLAYSTATION (PS2):

(I know, it’s not the PS3. Sorry, I can’t speak to the PS3 because our family went for the Wii, not the PS3. And a lot of people agreed with us, y’know…)

Kingdom Hearts 2

Kingdom Hearts 1

Note: Both of the Kingdom Hearts titles may be hard to find. They’re a bit obscure but well worth it. I had never heard of them until a game store employee recommended them. I was initially skeptical because they were out of the mainstream, but my kids absolutely loved them both! These would be good for kids who have most of the well known titles, but you may have to get them started. Once they see what the game is all about, they’ll likely be hooked.

NBA 2K8

–Katamari Damacy

We Love Katamari

Sing Star Pop

Karaoke Revolution: American Idol

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NINTENDO GAMECUBE: (perhaps soon to be obsolete?!)

Luigi’s Mansion

(this is an older game, but is now a classic)

Paper Mario

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

Super Monkey Ball 2

Super Smash Bros Melee

(Note: this game can be hard to find, because it’s an older game, but most boys love it)

Updated note: On December 20, Target had about a dozen copies of Super Smash Bros Melee.

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Nintendo DS - Drawn to Life

NINTENDO DS:

–UPDATE!! New top pick title for DS: Drawn to Life

New Super Mario Bros

Kirby Squeak Squad

Dragon Quest Rocket Slime

Rocket Slime - DS

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and finally, the top picks for

NINTENDO Wii:

–UPDATE!! New top pick for Wii: Super Mario Galaxy

UPDATE: New top pick for Wii: Guitar Hero 3

NBA Live ‘08

Madden NFL ‘08

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

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UPDATE!! –– Here are some recently released titles on NINTENDO’s Wii:

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Nov 6 for 49.99)

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Nov 6 for 49.99)

Super Mario Galaxy* (Nov 12 for 49.99)

Super Mario Galaxy

Check out this video!

You just have to play this Mario game.

It’s great!! It’s a far cry from Pong!! I love playing it and even love just watching my kids play it! In fact, I think any parent who doesn’t usually play video games should try this one. What’s not to like? C’mon…find that inner child and have some fun! If there’s only one video game you try, make it this one!

Okay, well, at least watch this video:

UPDATE!!! *See my recent post where I review this title, Super Mario Galaxy, on BMG Mom’s Reviews.

and, then, of course, the title that’s supposed to knock our socks off:

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (newsflash – this title now expected to be released February 10, 2008!! — for 49.99)

Super Smash Bros Brawl - Wii

UPDATE (1.27.08): Watch a great interview (with a little preview) by Koda from KidConfidence by clicking here.

Thank you www.vgboxart.com and www.amazon.com for this early cover art!


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Filed under Culture, family, Fun, games

In Defense of Webkinz

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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This morning I read another article mischaracterizing the craze of the moment – Webkinz.

Haven’t heard of Webkinz? It’s a great website (www.webkinz.com) where you and your kids can turn purchased stuffed animals into virtual pets. The stuffed animals come with a code that unlocks a room and a virtual version of the animal. Then you go online to Webkinz world and can enjoy games, create rooms for the pets, earn Kinzcash, tend to a virtual garden, play trivia games, arcade games, old fashioned games (like checkers and go fish), compete in tournaments with other virtual pets, hunt for gems in the “Curio Shop,” send and receive gifts (and thank you cards) and so much more.

It is NOT comparable to Neopets which my kids found annoying. It’s also not like Beanie babies (which were about as bad as those ridiculous Mighty Beans) from a few years ago.

It’s a safe alternative to some fairly frightening online places your kids’ friends might be visiting or your kids might be tempted to visit.

Yes, I admit, I’m one of those adults who has been drawn into the Webkinz craze and will now confess to actually enjoying playing along with my kids.

Is it a chore (as described in so many recent articles)? Certainly not.

Do I have to feed and “care for” my kids pets? No!! The health, happiness and hunger levels will remain at 100 (full capacity) if you don’t go online for a month. It’s only while you’re playing that the meter starts to fall. So your kids could be away at camp or school all day or all week and never touch a computer, then come back and their pets would be exactly the same as they left them.

The only way a pet would turn green and have an ice pack on its head (with a low health meter) is if your child is playing online and completely ignoring the pet. My family has been playing for close to eight months now and I’ve never had a pet display these ailments. I tried to imagine how that might happen. Here’s all I came up with: Let’s say you play arcade games, participate in tournaments, perform your job in the employment office, hunt for gems in the Curio Shop, then spend a lot of time decorating your rooms and all the while never happen to notice your hunger meter going down, maybe, just maybe, the meter will get pretty low (I don’t think mine has ever gone lower than 50). But you’d have to play several days in a row, ignoring your pet each time you play (i.e., don’t bother tossing any food over to your pet) for it to get to the point of falling ill. And, by the way, you only play with one pet at time, so the neglect would only impact the one pet you’ve selected. Really, this emphasis on caretaking is simply unfounded. It’s not about the caretaking! I hardly pay any attention to the little guy while I enjoy the many activities the site offers. I do, however, slide over some food once in a while. It’s just not a big deal!

If nothing else, one might argue that it’s comparable to letting your gas tank get a bit low. If you drive all over town and don’t happen to glance at the gas meter, eventually you’ll find yourself in a predicament. But, after having one scare where my sister and I were driving across the country and almost ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere at nighttime, I generally make it habit to keep my gas tank above 1/2 full. I tend to treat my Webkinz health meter the same way. So, hey, you could argue that there’s a potential life lesson application for your kids (a stretch maybe?).

Anyway…

My bottom line here?

I wish folks would stop comparing Webkinz to Neopets, Tamagotchi and Beanie Babies and give Webkinz a try!!

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Filed under Culture, family, Fun, games