I'm not dead, I just took a week off to do my final exams and stuff like that. Plus, this time of year is dead anyways, so I figured it could wait. So, here's what came out last week and what's out this week.
• Rise of the Argonauts • Sonic Unleashed (get the Wii/PS2 version instead)
• Rise of the Argonauts
• Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree • Neopets Puzzle Adventure • Rock Band 2 • Summer Sports 2: Island Sports Party • The Tale of Despereaux • Word Jong Party
• Dungeon Maker II: The Hidden War
PC • Band Manager • Lost Secrets: Bermuda Triangle • Hidden Expedition: Amazon • Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge • Prince of Persia • Rise of the Argonauts • RPG Fantasy Action Pack • The Tale of Despereaux • Zoo Tycoon 2 Ultimate Collection
• Animal Boxing • Australia Zoo Quest • Build-a-Lot • Candace Kane's Candy Factory • Cate West The Vanishing Files • Driver's Ed Portable • Dreamer: Horse Trainer • Dreamer: Puppy Trainer • Learn Math • Left Brain Right Brain 2 • Mystery P.I.: Portrait of a Thief • Slingo Quest • The Tale of Despereaux
• Rock Band 2 • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 • The Tale of Despereaux
Very boring, am I right? Get used to it. That's what the next few weeks are going to be like.
The only highlight here is Persona 4 for the PS2. I don't know much about it other than it's a weeaboo JRPG with an even more weeaboo translation that keeps all the honorifics and stuff on there. Also, you commit suicide to gain powers. Apparently it's good if you're into that kind of thing, but I'll stick to Fallout 3 thank you very much.
So, next week, I don't think anything is coming out. Literally, nothing.
Now, generally I do not like to review something until I have completely beat the game, and as such, this post is going to be impressions of the game, which to a certain extent is probably a review.
For those of you not in the know, I got the first disbursement of my sign-on bonus this week, and promptly splurged it on a PlayStation 3. Of course, the very first game that I bought was LittleBigPlanet. Why wouldn't I have bought that game first? Everything I've seen about it on the internet suggests that it oozes creativity. To a certain extent, it shows that this generation Sony and not Nintendo has the creativity wand when it comes to games. I had to buy this game, and by golly I did.
LittleBigPlanet is based around the concept that this world managed by Creator Curators is created by the combined imagination of the world and you, as Sackboy, get to explore it. On the surface of playing the game, LittleBigPlanet is a semi 2D platformer. You can only move left, right, or back and forth in the background. But, see, just because the game is in essence a 2D platformer does not take away from the fact that it oozes with creativity and fun.
This game is customizable, and not just a little customizable, but "HAVE AT IT WON'T YOU?" customizable. As you progress through the game you are gifted and obtain lots of stickers, objects, and doodads to fool around with. In story mode, these stickers can be placed wherever, and sometimes these stickers serve as triggers. But, the real beauty of collecting these customizations is the fact that the game allows you to create your own levels. These aren't some corny shallow level but often full fledged levels limited only by the imagination of the creator, and that's really neat. Theoretically you could never run out of levels to play because the community keeps pumping them out. It's really truly amazing.
That said, the Media Molecule (developer) levels are also very cool. Basically, each creator curator has a theme and mini storyline that ties in with the other curators, and levels get harder and harder as you progress through the story. Of course, once you beat a level there are plenty of reasons to go back. See, chances are you won't be able to get all 100% of the items on your first go, so there will always be that reason to come back to the level. Secondly, you could play the level by yourself, or you could play the level with someone online. The neat thing about that is that you sometimes have to have another Sackboy with you to get certain items and cause certain events to occur. Thing is though that I am so addicted to the game that I just want to beat it through before playing with someone online, so I don't know for sure how that works, but I imagine it's pretty cool.
From customizing your own levels to customizing your Sackboy, you have a lot of freedom in this game, and this freedom makes the game so damn enjoyable. I'd say I am about 70ish% through the story mode, and this game keeps calling me back. If you have a PS3 I don't think you have to buy the game, but you'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn't at least try it out. After all, Sackboy is so damn lovable. Forget Home's avatars, Sackboy should be our official Sony avatars. He's just so damn precious.
Have the game? Want the game? What are your impressions of LittleBigPlanet? Is it everything you thought it would be, or is it something that you hope it will be?
Sorry for being so late with this, but this is the last week of the semester for me before finals, so the professors have been dumping all sorts of homework on me. Yippie. So, I need to keep it short and sweet this week.
• Prince of Persia • SingStar ABBA
• Destroy All Humans 3: Path of Furon • Prince of Persia
• Bigfoot: Collision Course • Family Party: 30 Great Games • King of Fighters Orochi Saga • Mushroom Men: Spore Wars • My Fitness Coach • Nancy Drew: The White Wolf • Safecracker • Ski & Shoot • SPRay • The Tale of Despereaux
PC • Disney's Bolt • Grand Theft Auto IV • Neopets Puzzle Adventure • The Tale of Despereaux • A Vampyre Story • Zoo Tycoon 2 Ultimate
• Animal Boxing • Dreamer: Puppy Trainer • Emma at the Farm • Emma in the Mountains • Happy Cooking • Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi • My Fun Facts Coach • Prince of Persia: The Fallen King • Slingo Quest • The Tale of Despereaux • Wordfish
• Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories • SingStar ABBA • The Tale of Despereaux
Yet another slow week, but there's some good stuff. Such as Prince of Persia. This installment in the long-running series has UbiSoft trying to reinvent the game with a new cel-shaded Okamiesque art style and open world gameplay...and apparently the results are good if early reviews are to be believed.
The other big game I'm interested in this week is Mushroom Men for the Wii. Why is this shovelware sounding game so intriguing? First of all, the game's music was composed and performed by none other than Primus bassist, Les Claypool. However, what makes the game really interesting is that the entire game is synced to a metronome that runs at 120 beats per minute. The result is a very unique look and sound that I've never seen in a video game before. It really must be seen to be fully understood, so take a look at this trailer from GameVideos about the metronome system. IGN also has a great article about the system. Oh, I supposed I should probably mention what the gameplay is like. Well, it's basically your standard platformer, but with some neat MDK2/Fallout 3 like weapon creation elements. I just hope the gameplay is as brilliant as the metronome system, but even if it isn't, I know I'll like the game since it's a bold experiment in sound design. Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy this game right away. If anyone gets this game or hears anything about it, leave a comment, because I'm dying to know how this game turned out.
Oh yeah, there's some new Kingdom Hearts game out this week on the good ol PS2. It's a 3D remake of the GBA game, Chain of Memories entitled Re:Chain of Memories (clever). Since I don't know anything about Kingdom Hearts other than a lot of weeabos that don't normally like Disney love this game...probably for "kawaii" artwork and stuff. Never understood the appeal of this game.
If you missed out on the consoles, GTA IV will hit Windows this week in all it's SecuROM-protected "glory" (if you can call it that). Hooray DRM!
Anyways, check back next week when I'll be burned out by final exams. But then I'm done with school for a month.
Gaming has changed. It's no longer about top-notch AAA blockbusters and quality games, it's an endless series of shovelware developed by guys in business suits and programmed by machines that follow their every command. Gaming has changed. ID tagged consumers carry ID tagged weapons, use ID tagged gear. Nanomachines inside their bodies enhance and regulate their tastes. Hannah Montana. High School Musical. Imagine. The letter Z. Everything is monitored and kept under control. Gaming has changed. The age of innovation has become the age of shovelware. All in the name of making of quick buck from unsuspecting consumers. And he who controls the gaming battlefield...controls history. Gaming has changed. When the battlefield is under total control... shovelware becomes routine.
• NPPL Championship Paintball 2009
• AMF Bowling World Lanes • Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree • Cake Mania: In the Mix! • Championship Foosball • Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine • King of Fighters Orochi Saga • Safecracker • Skate City Heroes • Ski & Shoot • Winter Sports 2: The Next Challenge
PC • Band Manager • Disney's Bolt • Gothic 3 Collector's Edition • Neopets • Zoo Tycoon 2 Ultimate
• Age of Empire: Mythologies • All Star Cheer Squad • Chrono Trigger • Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force • Cradle of Rome • Emma in the Mountains • Neopets Puzzle Adventure • Personal Trainer: Cooking • Syberia
Looking through the ashes of the holiday season, I observe three beacons of hope for this week, even if they are all rereleases of things have have been out for at least ten years.
First among them is King of Fighters: Orochi Saga for the Wii. It's a compilation including the following games: King of Fighters '94, '95, '96, '97, '98, and '99. I don't have much experience with any of those games, but I know they're well liked by many people, so I thought I'd highlight it.
The next "good" game to come out this week is a DS remake of one of the most appreciated (and expensive to track down) games ever, Chrono Trigger. Originally released for the SNES in 1995, Chrono Trigger is yet another RPG from Square, and yet another game I've never had any desire to play. This new DS edition of the game has several all-new features including a couple of new dungeons, a new final boss with his own dungeon and ending that is unlocked after getting the original ending, two modes of play (DS and Classic), wireless play for 2-4 people, and arena mode, changes to the English script to more closely reelect the original Japanese game, no load times for the anime cutscenes (the same ones from the PS1 version included with Final Fantasy Chronicles), and improved sprites/music. But I honestly don't care. I've NEVER played Chrono Trigger, nor do I have much desire to since it looks like yet another generic JRPG grindfest. OH NO! I have sinned and tarnished the name of one of the "greatest games ever". So, RPG fans, why should I care about this game? What makes it different from other JRPGs? How does it innovate? Tell me why the hell I should play this game, and maybe I will.
However, the absolute highlight of the week is the long-awaited Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (aka: Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Dub Edition Remix Gaiden: The Director's Cut: Deluxe Edition). In addition to being the newest member of the ridiculously long name club (along with Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars), it's a member of the awesome downloadable games from Capcom club. What makes this remake so great and worth getting? First off, the sprites have been upgraded, BIG TIME! Just check out this comparison of Ryu, this one of Ken, and this one of Akuma. Quite the difference if I must say so myself. These awesome sprites will be rendered in 1080p HD goodness along with plenty of new features including an optional "rebalanced" mode that changes around the balance of the characters, training mode, both widescreen and standard 4:3 aspect ratios, a remixed soundtrack created by people at OverClocked Remix (the original soundtrack is there too if you prefer to hear that, the ability to use either the new sprites or the old ones from the original, and, of course, online play with voice chat, matchmaking, stat tracking, and leaderboards. The best part is that this whole package is going to be selling for only $15 on both Xbox Live Arcade (out Wednesday) and Playstation Network (out Tuesday). In addition, PSN people will be getting a free Street Fighter Underground soundtrack with original songs by hip-hop artists like Redman, DJ Qbert, and Heiroglyphics. I don't know about you, but I am ultra pumped for this game because I haven't played Street Fighter II (or any fighter) in quite some time, and I really want to get back into the groove of things. In addition, the online modes sound awesome as well. So, anyone getting it for PS3? Wanna set up some matches? I bet I know the answer to that: no. Whatever. Hope you like not having fun.
That's all for this week. Hopefully you all enjoyed my pretentious as hell intro.
•Alone In The Dark: Inferno •Disney's Bolt •Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore 2 •Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe •NCAA Basketball 2009 •Need for Speed Undercover •NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 •Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2 •Shaun White Snowboarding •Tomb Raider Underworld
•Disney's Bolt •Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore 2 •The Last Remnant •Left 4 Dead •Lips (Oh, how far iNiS has fallen) •Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe •Naruto: The Broken Bond •NCAA Basketball 2009 •Need for Speed Undercover •NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 •Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2 •Shaun White Snowboarding •Tomb Raider Underworld •You're In The Movies
•Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun •AMF Bowling World Lanes •Animal Crossing: City Folk (Nintendo's hardcore game for this Fall!) •Castlevania: Judgment (It's the crappy looking fighter, move on) •Championship Foosball •Cooking Mama World Kitchen •Disney's Bolt •Gallop and Ride (HAWT! Rated AO!) •Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore 2 •Merv Griffin's Crosswords •Need for Speed Undercover •NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 •Petz Crazy Monkeyz (THIS IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WII! Someone kill me now.) •Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party (For the love of God Ubisoft, make a REAL Rayman game again!) •Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2 •Shaun White Snowboarding •Skate City Heroes •Skate It •Sonic Unleashed •Tomb Raider Underworld •Ultimate Band
•Need for Speed Undercover •Shaun White Snowboarding
•Chronicles of Mystery: Scorpio Ritual •CSI: New York •Disney's Bolt •Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods Left 4 Dead •Left 4 Dead •Legendary •Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria •Need for Speed Undercover •Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir •The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff •Tomb Raider Underworld •Spore Comic Book Creator •Spore Creepy and Cute Parts Pack
•Cradle of Rome •Disney's Bolt •Hello Kitty: Big City Dreams •Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades •Imagine: Ballet Star •Imagine: Movie Star •Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine •Luminous Arc 2 (More FATlus RPG action. Go nuts fanboys.) •Metal Slug 7 •Need for Speed Undercover •Robocalypse •Petz Catz Clan •Petz Monkeyz House •Petz Rescue Endangered Paradise •Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party •Rune Factory 2: Fantasy Harvest Moon •Shaun White Snowboarding •Skate It •Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff •Tomb Raider Underworld •Tony Hawk's Motion •Ultimate Band
•Burnout Anthology •Disney's Bolt •Dynasty Warriors 6 •NCAA Basketball 2009 •Need for Speed Undercover •NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 •Pop Star Guitar •Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2 •Shaun White Snowboarding •Sonic Unleashed
Things are starting to slow down as we approach the holidays, in fact, next week there will be next to nothing released, but it's not next week, so we have an insane amount of games to deal with.
First among them is Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which is getting surprisingly great reviews, a 79 on MetaCritic at the moment. As you can figure out from the title, it's a new Mortal Kombat game, but featuring characters from DC Comics. For those of you not well-versed in your comic knowledge, DC includes Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern. Oh, and get this, the story is apparently pretty damn good, especially for a fighting game! But all is not rosy, because the American version is censored in order to maintain a Teen rating.
Don't want a fighting game? Then maybe Tomb Raider Underworld would be a good choice. Underworld is the latest installment in the long-running series with gaming's best-known female star. This time, it looks like they're trying to follow in the footsteps of Naughty Dog's incredible PS3 exclusive from last year, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Interesting that a franchise that inspired a game is getting inspiration from that same game, but such is life. However, one that that Underworld innovates on is truly adjustable difficulty, which allows you to change all sorts of settings including enemy damage, damage you take, ammo capacity, and more. To find out more about the innovative approach Crystal Dynamics took to the game's difficulty, check out MTV Multiplayer. I've not played the game, but I hope others take a hint from Underworld and give us settings like Underworld has.
And because we need more installments in long-running franchises, Sonic Unleashed comes out this week (at least for PS2 and Wii, the 360 version has apparently been delayed to next week, and the ps3 edition isn't coming until next month). So far, only the Wii version has been reviewed, and it's been scoring decently. Everyone seems to say that the daytime speed levels are awesome ane a throwback to the glory days of Sonic, but the nighttime levels are slow and tedious. Why does it seem like for every good idea in a new Sonic game, there has to be something that totally screws up the rest of the experience? No clue. I honestly think Sega needs to take a good look at Bionic Commando Rearmed and Mega Man 9 and see what they are doing and apply those lessons to Sonic.
Yet another entry in a long-running series comes out this week. Metal Slug 7 for the DS. It's pretty much what you expect, Metal Slug, but on the DS. There's really nothing else to say about it. It's Metal Slug...in your pocket. Speaking of more of the same, Animal Crossing: City Folk comes out this week and according to reviews, it's pretty much the same thing as the GameCube edition, but now with online play.
Perhaps the most surprising game of the week has got to be Skate It for the Wii. I thought it had the potential to be as good as the PS360 version of the game, but figured it would suck. However, IGN gave it a GLOWING reivew that really piqued my interest. In case you don't know, Skate It is a toned down version of one of this generation's best games, skate., but with added Wiimote and Balance Board controls. I don't know that I want this game right now considering skate 2 is coming out in January, but I'm so happy to know it doesn't suck.
But the biggest game of the week is undoubtedly Valve's co-op zombie shooter Left 4 Dead. Based on the demo, this game is DEFINITELY one to get! I'll be getting it very soon, probably for Christmas. Who's up for some online action (on the PC)?! I really don't have much to say that hasn't already been said about the game. So go look up one of the many other previews.
Also out this week is The Last Remnant, some Square RPG I don't care about, and a track pack for Rock Band for those of you who hate downloadable content (most of you here, unfortunately).
Check back next week for a rather subdued list...and the return of RF Generation's most-read blog article EVAR!
Happy Birthday PS3! That's right, two years ago today the PLAYSTATION 3 was released here in the states, being the second region to get the behemoth known as the PLAYSTATION 3. At the time it was the BIGGEST, BADDEST, MOST POWERFUL console to date, and well, two out of the three of those descriptors still fit. Depending on how you look at it, those descriptors can have either a positive or negative connotation associated with them.
Let's look back shall we? Well, in 2006 Sony had far and beyond the largest ego of the three developers. A cocky arrogance, so to speak. The PlayStation 2 sold like hotcakes, so obviously the PS3 would sell like hotcakes as well, right? Never mind the price differential. I know inflation occurs, but damn, you paid a premium if you bought a PS3 at launch. So, looking back, is it that surprising that the PS3 hasn't sold so well? I wouldn't think so, but I certainly didn't expect it to be as piss poor as it's been. Maybe it was branding the PLAYSTATION 3 as PLAYSTATION 3. ALL CAPS IS GREAT!!!!L0Lz0r. Seriously, why? Was it arrogance? I don't know for sure, but I am certainly inclined to believe it was.
Grand Theft Auto IV was supposed to get people to buy a PS3. To a certain extent it did, but then it dropped off like your grandmother's fine china falls off the table when your two year old son gets a hold of it. Truth be told, the massive releases haven't really had the intended effect that Sony was hoping for. It's sort of sad, don't these companies learn from history? I remember some other company being an arrogant ass and in the process watched it's market share drop from first to third over two console generations. I guess these companies just don't like to read up on history.
Of course, perhaps the future will be better for Sony. I know that I really want LittleBigPlanet, and half of Japan really wants Final Fantasy XIII. Perhaps the PS3 will be a late bloomer. Time shall tell, but in the the past things haven't been so rosy for the poor PLAYSTATION 3. After all, The PLAYSTATION 3 is now referred to as the PlayStation 3. Did the marketers get tired of holding down shift or did Sony realize their arrogance? Who knows, but it does make you wonder.
So, 2 years down, how many more to follow? Clearly the 4 year cycle should be blown to nothingness, I hope. I honestly think the PlayStation 3 will have a rosier future. It really is a powerful, powerful system, and in time production costs will hit a sweet spot where the mass public can afford it. There are good games for the PlayStation 3, and someday maybe a lot of people will be fortunate enough to play them. Sony really, really needs to knock the socks off of the gaming public. Clearly non casual gamers feel at time disenfranchised with the current market leader, why not capitalize on that? Find a sweet spot to sell the console at. Promote the third party tie-in ratio. Push the value of the console. Stop running esoteric and crazy commercials. Sell and advertise what people want. I think Sony will be able to pull it off, and in the future you might just see Sony be somewhere rosier than they currently are. Time shall tell.
Two years down, more to follow. What's your take on the PlayStation 3? What has the past and future held for the console in your opinion? What must they do in the present? Are they doomed to third place? Have the mighty fallen again? Time shall certainly tell.
So, uh, past tense. Here's what came out this past week:
•Call of Duty: World at War •Mirror's Edge •Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 •WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
•Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts •Call of Duty: World at War •Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 •Mirror's Edge •Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 •WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
•Big League Sports •Block Party •Bratz Kidz: Slumber Party •Call of Duty: World at War •Candace Kane's Candy Factory •FaceBreaker K.O. Party •Guinness World Records: The Videogame •Hasbro Family Game Night •Imagine: Party Babyz •Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors •Luxor 3 •Monkey Mischief: Party Time •Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor •Pet Pals Animal Doctor •Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World •WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
•Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 •WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
•Call of Duty: World at War •CSI: New York •History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions •Petz Horsez Club •Sacred 2: Fallen Angel •Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice •World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
•Amazing Adventures: Forgotten Ruins •Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno •Call of Duty: World at War •futureU: The Prep Game for SAT •Guinness World Records: The Videogame •Hello Kitty Daily Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors •My Stop Smoking Coach with Allen Carr •National Geographic Panda •Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia •Pony Friends: Mini Breeds Edition •Populous •Sally's Salon •Six Flags Fun Park •Star Wars Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance •Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff •Tropix •Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals •Winx Club: Mission Enchantix •WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
•Eternal Poison (It's a FATlus RPG, go nuts fanboys) •Hasbro Family Game Night •Onimusha: The Essentials (This is NEVER coming out) •Pop Star Guitar •Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 •Think Fast •WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
One of the biggest games this week is Call of Duty: World at War, the first game in the popular series since last year's awesome Modern Warfare. This game takes the series back to its WW2 roots...and back to off-year developer Treyarch, two strikes against the game in the eyes of many fans of last year's Infinity Ward developed installment. However, don't be worried because I think the game looks great, especially since it keeps the same addictive multiplayer XP/perk system found in 4...AND BECAUSE IT HAS NAZI ZOMBIES! How can you say no to that?! Well, other than saying "I'm waiting for Left 4 Dead next week".
Next up is Mirror's Edge, the ambitious first person running game from BattleField developers, EA DICE. In case you've been living under a rock, Mirror's Edge is a first person game inspired by Parkour, or free running, in which you play as Faith, a messenger who is being pursued by the man. Based on the demo on PS3, I must say it's one of the best games I've played this year, and definitely the most original big-budget disc-based game of the year. Don't let IGN'sBSreviews fool you, Mirror's Edge is a game worth getting.
Of course the biggest game of the week is World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Litch King, the latest expansion to the wildly popular MMORPG. I really don't know much about WoW except it steals your life and turns you into a fatass basement-dwelling neckbeard nerd. Needless to say, I've never played it, but I've seen what happens to friends that get into it, and it scares me off from playing...plus the game looks boring as heck.
Also out this week is Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (the awesome N64 platformer is back...with little platforming and lots of vehicle building), Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (360 this time, in case you missed it on the PC), Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff (The classic is back...with no NFL license), Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (moar Pokemans, hopefully moar mudkipz), and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (people like the Tales series from what I know...)
Honestly, I can't say much about this video without ruining it for you. So, just press play.
Japan never ceases to amaze me. This could rank in the top game advertisements of all-time with the Japanese ad for God Hand. Kudos SCEJ bringing us the best game related marketing rap since the infamous Zelda Rap (or All I Want For Xmas Is A PSP, take your pick).
•History Channel Civil War: Secret Mission •James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace •Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa •Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm •Resistance 2 (Also available as a collector's edition) •Tom Clancy's End War •Valkyria Chronicles
•Gears of War 2 (Also available as a collector's edition) •History Channel Civil War: Secret Mission •James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace •Legendary •Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa •Namco Museum Virtual Arcade •Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice •Tom Clancy's End War
•Bratz Kidz: Slumber Party •James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace •Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa •Monster Lab •Movie Games (What?) •North American Hunting Extravaganza •Petz Sports (Sports totally should have ended with a z) •Pop Star Guitar •Rubik's World
•Tom Clancy's End War
PC •CSI: New York •Guitar Hero III/Aerosmith Bundle James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace •Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa •Operation Mania •Petz Sports •Princess Pack •Realms of Arkania Trilogy •Space Trader
•Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Snow Princess •Dragonball: Origins •Exit DS •futureU: The Prep Game for SAT •Goosebumps HorrorLand •Guitar Rock Tour •Hello Kitty Daily •Imagine: Interior Designer •Imagine: Wedding Designer •Korg DS-10 •James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace •Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ •Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa •Monster Lab •My Baby Boy •My Baby Girl •Petz Dogz Pack •Pony Friends: Mini Breeds Edition •Princess on Ice •Real Soccer 2009 •Theresia (Holy shit, an M rated game on the DS!) •Tom Clancy's End War •Winx Club: Mission Enchantix (That's one x away from XXX) •Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals
•Call of Duty: World at War Final Fronts •Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World •History Channel Civil War:Secret Mission •James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace •Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa •Monster Lab •NHL 09 •Onimusha: The Essentials (I highly doubt it) •Pop Star Guitar •Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice •Think Fast
If you haven't joined the new age of gaming and don't like downloading games, you may want to check out Namco Museum Virtual Arcade since it includes many games available on the Xbox Live Arcade service on one disc including Galaga Legions, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Mr. Driller Online, Pac-Man, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Xevious, and New Rally-X. Achievement whores will be happy to know that all the XBLA games on the disc retain their achievement points, so you can further boost your e-penis. In addition to all those (mostly) excellent XBLA games, there's the usual cross-section of classic Namco games that you've come to expect from the Namco Museum series.
This week also sees the release of the latest James Bond game, Quantum of Solace. This looks pretty good because it is based on one of the best FPS engines out there, the Call of Duty 4 engine. Reviews, however, have been a mixed bag so far, so be cautious.
Next up is the the game of the year based on just the title, Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ for the DS. It's sort of a shmup with fairy tales and zombies. Surprisingly, it's getting good reviews on the interwebs. Plus, it's only $20, so what do you have to lose? NOTHING! That's the answer!
The most unique (and sure to be rare) release of the week is the Korg DS-10 synthesizer for the DS. In case you don't know what this is, it's a full-featured Korg synthesizer for only $35. Want to learn more? Watch it in action on the June 20th episode of the 1UP Show. Want to buy the game? Chances are you'll have to order it online because almost no retailers are carrying it, including GameStop.
Also out this week are two big name exclusive shooters: Gears of War 2 for the Xbox 360 and Resistance 2 for the PS3. I'm not a Gears fan, so I'll spare you my thoughts on that game (actually, horde mode in that game looks hella fun), but I did try out the "beta" (aka demo) of Resistance 2 and had quite a fun time in both competitive and co-op modes. Haven't played the single player mode, but judging by how multiplayer is and how the first game was (and my Insomniac Games fanboyism), it should be awesome.
Rounding out the week is Valkyria Chronicles (Sega's incredible PS3 exclusive RPG/Third Person Shooter combo), Naruto Ultimate Ninja: Storm (BELIEVE IT!), and Tom Clancy's End War (an RTS that you can control entirely using your voice, which is actually pretty fun based on the demo).
Again, I am sooooooooooo sorry for how late this is and how it doesn't live up to my usual standards. Things got in the way Sunday and Monday, and then the election was last night. Hopefully you all forgive me enough to check back next time.
•Bioshock •Disney Sing It •Eternal Sonata •Far Cry 2 •The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon •Midnight Club: Los Angeles •Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition •Rock Band 2 (Game only and as an instrument bundle) •Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
•Dance Dance Revolution: Universe 3 (Game only and bundle. God I'm sucker for DDR) •Disney Sing It •Fable 2 (Also available as a limited edition) •Far Cry 2 •The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon •Midnight Club: Los Angeles •Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition •Rock Band 2 (Game only and as an instrument bundle) •Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
•Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Make the Grade •Backyard Football 2009 •Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp •Build a Bear Workshop: Fur Seasons •Carnival Games: Mini-Golf •Celebrity Sports Showdown •Circus Games •Dancing with the Stars: We Dance •Disney Sing It •High School Musical 3: Senior Year DANCE •Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2009 •The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon •Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition •Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 •Penny Racers Party: Turbo Q Speedway •Petz Rescue Wildlife Vet •Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game •Spider-Man: Web of Shadows •SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom •Think Fast •Wii Music (God this game looks AWFUL. Do not buy this because it says Wii ____.)
•Crash: Mind Over Mutant •Midnight Club: LA Remix •Petz Saddle Club •Spider-Man: Web of Shadows •Star Ocean: First Departure
•Bully: Scholarship Edition •Combat Wings: Battle of Britain •Dead Space •Deer Hunter Tournament •Europa Universalis III Collection •Far Cry 2 •Heist •Littlest Pet Shop •NBA 2K9 •NHL 09 •Petz Horsez Club •Poker for Dummies •Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game •Spider-Man: Web of Shadows •Shaun White Snowboarding
•Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Make the Grade •Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp •Back at the Barnyard: Slop Bucket Games •Backyard Football 2009 •Battle of the Giants: Dinosaurs •Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia •Dancing with the Stars: We Dance •Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell •Ener-G: Dance Squad •Ener-G: Gym Rockets •Ener-G: Horse Rider •High School Musical 3: Senior Year DANCE •The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon •Lovely Lisa •Master of the Monster Lair •MechanicMaster •My Baby Girl •Pass the Pigs •Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game •Smart Girls Party Games •Spider-Man: Web of Shadows •SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom •Tornado •Touchmaster II •Transformers Animated •What's Cooking? Jamie Oliver
•Backyard Football 2009 Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp •Cake Mania Baker’s Challenge •Disney Sing It •The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon •Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition •Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game •Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
First up: Rock Band 2! This time it's the game only for the PS3 and the bundle edition for the PS3 and 360. Sorry, but PS2 and Wii owners have to wait until next month to rock out with plastic instruments...again. Or until Guitar Hero World Tour next week. But why get that when Harmonix is so much better than Activision? Plus Rock Band 2 has one of my favorite songs of all-time, Teen Age Riot by Sonic Youth.
Next, Fable 2, the latest promise-a-thon from Peter Molyneux...and from the looks of things, it lives up to at least some of the promises he made. I have no experience with this series, so I can't say too much about it.
Far Cry 2 is also out this week. I've always wanted to play the first game, but have never got around to it. It looks pretty awesome and got some great reviews. Any insights here?
This week two former 360 exclusives make the move to PS3.First up is the critically acclaimed Bioshock. I've never played much Bioshock until the PS3 demo a few weeks ago, and it totally blew me away. I won't get this game right away, however, because I want to wait until it reaches the price level that the 360 version is at, which will probably be a month or two after Christmas. The other one is Eternal Sonata, which is actually not half bad for a JRPG (at least based on the demo).
Also coming out this week: Star Ocean: First Departure for the PSP (yet another Square remake), Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia for the DS (even more Castlevania goodness), Midnight Club: Los Angeles on PS3/360/PSP (That OTHER game Rockstar makes!), Spider-Man: Web of Shadows on PS3/360/Wii/PSP/DS/PC/PS2 (The reviews are surprisingly good so far, and the game looks pretty intriguing), DDR Universe 3 for Xbox 360 (probably another shitty 360 installment), and Dead Space on the PC (DO NOT MISS THIS GAME!!!).
Phew. Exhausting list. Check back next week for the next installment of the Holiday 08 release list season.
Just like fellow Playstation platform developer Naughty Dog did with Crash Bandicoot, Insomniac Games decided to sell their PSone franchise Spyro and start with a fresh game on the PS2. Furthermore, Ratchet & Clank (2002), too, features a main character and a side companion that stay together during most of the games. Coincidence? Not really, because both studios used to be located in the same building on a Universal Studios backlot and continue to have a close relationship.
In Ratchet & Clank, you play as Ratchet, a creature that doesn't really fall under a specific animal-category, but can be best described as a sort of cross between a lynx and a human. Ratchet lives on the planet Veldin, where he spends most of his time working on his spaceship, dreaming of leaving Veldin in search of galactic adventures. One day, a little robot named Clank crashes near Ratchet's home. Clank comes form a robot factory on the planet Quartu, where he discovered an infobot that revealed that Chairman Drek, leader of the Blarg race has decided to start building a new planet for his race, made up from pieces of other planets. When Ratchet finds Clank, Clank shows him the infobot and says he fears that Drek is going to destroy the universe. After some compromises, the odd duo sets of to rescue the galaxy from Drek's madness.
The rest of the story is brought to the player in a similar fashion: after reaching a certain point in each level, a new infobot plays another cutscene and gives the coordinates for a next planet. The game makes handful use of this concept to make each planet/level completely different in terms of environment, backgrounds and "feel", thus making the game varied from start to finish. Along the way you'll find yourself on space stations, polluted planets, tropical planets, urban-themed planets and more. As you can expect, the story is very light-hearted and the well written cutscenes are often hilarious, making the game enjoyable for both young and old.
When arriving at a new planet there's usually several directions you can go in, each leading to a different objective. Pressing start will reveal a map of the planet you're on, along with the objectives you've found so far. You can also watch the corresponding infobot again in case you missed out on anything. To keep frustrations on a low, backtracking is kept to a minimum with the ability to teleport back to your ship after reaching the end of a certain path. There's also plenty of invisible checkpoints on each planet so gamers won't have to replay most of a level because they died right before the end.
Compared to other platform games, Ratchet & Clank's focus mainly lies on the many different weapons and gadgets in the game than on jumping about from platform to platform. At the start of the game, Ratchet is equiped with his Omniwrench 3000, your main melee weapon that you can smash or throw at enemies or boxes. Still on Veldin, Ratchet receives the free Bomb Glove, a glove that, you've guessed it, throws out bombs at unsuspecting enemies. The more progress you make, the bigger your weapons assortment will become. Some weapons have to be bought at the Gadgetron vendor, which can be found at each planet, others are prizes for completing objectives. Besides the first two, you'll be able to have fun with the Blaster, Pyrociter, Devastator or the more exotic Glove of Doom, Suck Cannon and Morph-o-Ray. All weapons are fun to use, although you'll find yourself using two/three of them most of the time. To change weapons, you can display a quick-select menu on screen by pressing the triangle button. Sadly enough, the game doesn't pause when you're changing weapons, something that was only added in Ratchet & Clank 2 (= Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando in North America) Not all weapons can fit in the quick-select menu at once, but you can select which ones you want it to contain in the main menu. The Gadgetron vendors also serve as ammunition shops for the weapons you've aquired.
Despite being more combat-orientated than most games in the genre, there's still a fair bit of platforming and puzzle-solving to be done. For these puzzles you'll need to use certain Gadgets, similar in use to the weapons. Gadgets are devided into 4 subcategories: hand items include things like a Trespasser (to open sealed doors in a mini game), Hydrodisplacer (a device that can store highly compressed water) and Swingshot (a hook shot that latches on special floating balls, which you can swing from). Then there's backpacks: modifications for Clank that let you glide through the air or swim faster under water. Third are head items for Ratchet like an O2-mask or Pilot Helmet. Lastly there's foot items which include the awesome Grindboots. With these boots you can grind on rails which is something you'll have to do on several ocassions.
The gameplay itself is a lot of fun. After defeating an enemy with your weapon of choice, he'll burst out into Bolts, the game's main currency. You can also collect Bolts by smashing crates that are placed on all levels. For those who can't get enough of the game there's also a select number of Golden Bolts to be found on each planet, usually in hidden areas. These are then tradable for rare goodies. To keep the game exciting at all times, there's also mini games in which you'll have to fly in your spaceship in a 3D-style shooter or stages that you play with Clank. Those are particulary fun because you'll get to control tiny robots than will follow Clank's instructions such as "Follow", "Wait" or "Attack". The controls are good and even the camera adjustment has been done right (a rare thing in 3D Platform games) with a camera that stays where the player wants it. I do have to admit that I missed the possibility to strafe as seen in the game's sequels but then again, this never bothered me when I first played the game in 2002.
At the time of its release, Ratchet & Clank gained much praise for its fantastic graphics. Although not as good as later games for the PS2, Ratchet & Clank's graphics are still very much enjoyable. The levels are big, there's no load times (except when moving from one planet to another) and textures are detailed and colorful. There's very little glitches and the frame rate is constant at all times. Animations are very well done, especially in cutscenes. Speaking of the cutscenes, despite them being funny, some of the jokes between Ratchet and Clank are a bit lame compared to those in Jak and Daxter. The game's sound is on par with its graphics with a funky up-tempo beat on each planet, good voice acting and solid sound effects. Nothing felt out of place to me, usually a good sign that the audio is good.
With its light-hearted story and humor, wide range of weapons and gadgets and beautiful graphics and sound, I think Ratchet & Clank is what you could call a "perfect" game that'll interest a broad range of gamers, not just platform fans. Recommended to all. 9.0/10
You all know LittleBigPlanet. It's a PS3 exclusive platformer developed by Media Molecule that was slated to come out next week. Well, not so fast, because one of the songs from the game's soundtrack, Tapha Niang by Toumani Diabaté (listen to the song at his MySpace page), quotes the Qur'an, which has offended some Muslims who have managed to receive an early copy of the game.
Media Molecule responded to this concern by preparing a patch for Sony, but the Sony people decided that it would be best to just do a recall of all printed copies of the game in order to cover people who may not have internet access on their PS3.
According to a post on Sony's Playstation.Blog by Patrick Seybold and a call I received from GameStop, the game will ship to stores the week of October 27, one week later than originally planned.
While I don't want to get into my personal beliefs about religious sensitivity and censorship, I must say that given the circumstances, Sony made the right decision. Yeah, it sucks that we have to wait another week, but it's far better than having the game be attacked by the media (except Fox News) for being offensive. This is not the first time a game has come under fire for religious content. In fact, last year Capcom had a similar situation with Zack and Wiki, and Activision removed some content from Call of Duty 4. Some of you may even remember that Nintendo snipped a lot of Islamic references from the N64 classic, Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
What's your take? Let us know in the comments, but let's keep it clean. Don't get racist or intolerant.
There's so many games coming out this week that I had to switch to three (?!) rows instead of the usual two! Granted most of the games this week are shovelware crap, but there's some damned awesome releases!
•Blitz: The League II •Dead Space •FIFA Soccer 2009 •Golden Axe: Beast Rider •Rock Revolution •Saints Row 2 (Also available as a collector's edition) •SOCOM: Confrontation (Also available as a bundle with the official Sony PS3 Bluetooth headset or as a download on the Playstation Store)
•Blitz, The League II •Dead Space •FIFA Soccer 2009 •Golden Axe: Beast Rider •Rock Revolution •Saints Row 2 (Also available as a collector's edition)
•Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno •Boogie Superstar •Bratz: Girls Really Rock •Dokapon Kingdom •Littlest Pet Shop •Safecracker •Sam and Max: Season One •Tak: Guardians of Gross •Ten Pin Alley 2
•Battle of the Giants: Dinosaurs •Bratz: Girls Really Rock •Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer •FIFA Soccer 2009 •Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2 •Littlest Pet Shop: Garden •Littlest Pet Shop: Jungle •Littlest Pet Shop: Winter •Lovely Lisa •My Japanese Coach •Naruto: Path of Ninja 2 •Smart Girls Party Games •Prey the Stars •Rock Revolution •Tak: Mojo Mistake
•Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno •Bratz: Girls Really Rock •Cake Mania Baker’s Challenge •Dokapon Kingdom •FIFA Soccer 2009 •Tak: Guardians of Gross
•Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Make the Grade •Avatar Last Air Bender: Path Zuko •Brain Training for Dummies •Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer •Combat Wings: Battle of Britain •Dark Horizon •Enchanted Fairy Friends: Secret Fairy •Etch A Sketch (AGAIN?!)
•FIFA Soccer 2009 •Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (Game Only) •Hot Dish •Let's Ride: Riding Star •Littlest Pet Shop •Paws and Claws: Australian Adventure •Poker for Dummies •Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game
•SAS: Secure Tomorrow •Saints Row 2 •Shaun White Snowboarding •Sniper: Art of Victory •SpongeBob Squarepants: Game of Life •Space Trader •World of Goo
The biggest game of this week is EA's sci-fi scarefest, Dead Space. If this game is not on your radar, it should be. Why? It's supposed to be an effing scary game and the reviews have been excellent so far (high 8s/low 9s). Yes, it is yet another shooter, but it does some very innovative stuff, such as strategic dismemberment. You can't just shoot a baddie in the head and move on because that would waste your ammo and anger them. What you need to do is totally tear them apart. While you are tearing them apart, they will change their approach to killing you. For example, if you take the legs out, they'll crawl towards you with their arms and try to take you out that way. In addition, there's some other cool powers like telekinesis and stasis. Based on all the footage I've seen so far, EA could have a possible game of the year contender with Dead Space.
Also out this week is indie darling child, World of Goo, on both PC (direct from 2D Boy via PayPal, on Steam, Direct2Drive, Beanstalk, Greenhouse, and in regular stores for all you disc fans) and WiiWare. Based on Tower of Goo (download it for free here, this physics-based puzzle game requires you to build structures using different types of goo in order to get balls to the exit. Sounds simple, but judging by the time I've played Tower of Goo, the end result should be a damned addictive game.
If you're a Wii owner looking for a hilarious adventure game should check out Sam and Max: Season One from Telltale Games. As you could probably infer from the title, it's a compilation of the all six episodes from the first season of the game put onto one disc on the Wii. Each episode will give you about two or three hours of gameplay, so you're looking at about 12-18 hours total to complete them all. Totally recommended if you're a Wii owner who liked Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive people and haven't played the PC version of Sam and Max: Season One.
Also out this week is SOCOM Confrontation for the PS3 (the latest installment in the popular online shooter), Saints Row 2 (the next installment in the GTAalike franchise), and Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2 (the sequel to the cult-classic 1984 arcade/NES game).
Oh yeah, Rock Revolution comes out this week too. If you buy it, I will punch you in the face.
As you probably know by now, I'm very excited for the upcoming PS3 exclusive game, LittleBigPlanet, which comes out in a little over a week. I love the happy-go-lucky atmosphere and the bright colors...however Sony has officially thrown that out the window with a newly announced guest Sackboy character...
Yeah, that Sephiroth. Everyone's favorite long-haired emo villain from Final Fantasy 7. The same Sephiroth that inspired many awful fanfics, fanart, and especially other games, is now coming with his trendy Hot-Topic dress style into the world of LittleBigPlanet. Along with Sephiroth, expect thousands of 15 year old otakus who think Sephy is kawaii bishie and writes long yaoi fanfics involving him and Cloud to follow.
Also coming to LBP: Old Snake from Metal Gear Solid 4.