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How does one combat an 800 lb gorilla? In the video gaming world, it seems anyways, release a buttload of games! Probably under the banner of “counterprogramming.” Even the PSP has 3 releases this week. That’s about 300% more releases than normal! Everybody other than Xbox 360 is counterprogramming like crazy. Oh and did I mention that the Playstation Move along with its myriad of games comes out this week? Grab some popcorn because this is gonna take a while.
Remember. Release dates are quite literally made at the whims of the publisher. The following are subject to change without any warning.
Releases To Watch For This Week
Halo: Reach (Xbox 360)
Tuesday September 14, 2010
Oh how long we’ve waited. ODST may have put us back into the Halo universe, but we didn’t get to play as the mighty Spartans. With Halo: Reach, we’re back in the proper shoes within the Halo universe. That of a Spartan. Here we get to play as the ill-fated Spartans of Noble 6 during the battle for Reach. Those who have kept up with Halo lore knows that their battles will not end well. Nevertheless, we’re more than happy to jump into their boots, and see it to its end.
Being a prequel, we get to see familiar weapons but in its earlier stages. The famous battle rifle, called the Designated Marksman Rifle, is here but it only shoots once per burst instead of three. The Plasma Rifle actually looks kinda like a freakin’ rifle although its called the Plasma Repeater. These Spartans were prototypes, and as such has stuff like armor abilities that we never get to see in the other Halo games. Armor abilities gives you certain abilities like sprinting or a jetpack. One even makes you completely invulnerable. Granted you can’t move but still. In all there are 7 armor abilities we get to look forward to. The best part about them is that you get to use them in multiplayer.
Just about everyone swears up and down that Halo Multiplayer is the best in the business. Reach is going to shake it up a bit with the notion of loadouts. Everytime you’re about to spawn, you’re given the choice of what loadouts you want to spawn with. These loadouts determine your starting weapon and what armor abilities you’ll have. Now everyone you meet is no longer identical. One might have the Sprint ability which mean they might bolt anytime or get up close and personal real quick. Another might have a jetpack letting them escape to ledges that you just can’t reach, unless you got your own jetpack of course. This diversity is compounded with the many, many modes available. The usual suspect is still alive and well, but a handful of new modes like Headhunter and Stockpile just to name a few should give players something new to think about. Even the Firefight mode is getting revamps like including a versus version of it where the covenant side has some human controlled players alongside the AI controlled units. Forge and Theater mode will still be here enhancing what is already a kick-ass multiplayer mode that much more kick-ass.
Halo fans tend to be somewhat fanatic about their favorite franchise. So much so that everything I’ve just written is old news to them. As for the rest of you, all I can say is that the Halo series has been uber popular for a damn good reason. Won’t you give it a shot?
Phantasy Star Portable 2 (PSP)
Tuesday September 14, 2010
If Halo can be considered a game changer to video games around here, Monster Hunter is its closest equivalent over in Japan. So much so that series like Phantasy Star, arguably one of the founding members of the console loot-whoring genre, have found itself back in the spotlight. Last year we had Phantasy Star Portable, but it didn’t have online multiplayer, a normal omission by Japanese standards but nigh unforgivable by ours. Sega’s learned their lesson and is including it this time around. There is a single player mode, but in all seriousness, almost nobody cares. It’s the multiplayer, loot-whoring mode that has elevated this series to where it is today. This being a sequel, you can expect various new weapons and customizations for your avatar. Unfortunately, details on specifics are a little sparse. Like Monster Hunter, the Phantasy Star series does have a fervent niche audience here, and the inclusion of online multiplayer will like attract the few holdouts of the series. Now if you could just convince your friends to pick up a PSP and this game, you’d be set. Otherwise, why bother.
Sports Champion (PS3)
Friday September 17, 2010
Ah, the Playstation Move. How you’ll do depend largely on the games that work with you. From the various previews I’ve read, it does have at least one piece of software that seems to showcase it well. Sports Champion is a collection of 6 sports mini-games, and will come as either pack-in for the Playstation Move controller or by itself. All the mini-games utilizes the Move controller and from the looks of the trailers and previews I’ve read, this game is damned near analogous to Wii Sports Resort complete with archery, disc golf, Ping Pong, and even a sword dueling game. It also looks to be the best Move game of the bunch as well, as long as you don’t mind the whole ripping-off of Wii Sports Resort part. I found that sentiment to be fairly prevalent about the Move, but let’s see if sheer quality can ultimately trump the need for innovation.
Coming This Week
Monday September 13, 2010
Deal or No Deal Special Edition (Wii, DS)
What a way to start the week! A new Deal or No Deal videogame? Time to practice my briefcase picking skils!
Tuesday September 14, 2010
Cabela’s North American Adventures (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP)
And the deer hunting continues. I’ve played plenty of First Person Shooters, but I just don’t see the appeal of shooting something that isn’t even remotely threatening. Sure those antlers look like it could gut me in seconds, and those bears are mighty deadly. Don’t even get me started on the turkeys. Okay now I see the point. Anyways, this here hunting game sports new features like gun customization and a cameraman that follows you around to make for the best hunting videos of your own making. Then there’s the online multiplayer mode complete with… Perks like Modern Warfare. Can’t wait ‘till it has a leveling system like Final Fantasy.
Challenge Me: Word Puzzles (Wii, DS)
Like word puzzles? Here we’ve 7 of them all compiled into one lovely Wii disc. Anagrams, Word Search, and even Conundrum are included in this pack! I’m so excited. I can barely keep my eyes open. Oh wait, that’s not excitement.
Greg Hastings Paintball 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
For those who finds Modern Warfare’s take on paintball with real bullets a little too, I don’t know, bloody, we’ve got Greg Hastings Paintbal 2 just for you. Jam packed with 7 single player modes, 7 multiplayer modes and over 60 playing fields, Paintball 2 certainly packs quite a good deal of content. It even has a level editor mode! And how many games can you think of has a Cheat meter where you can wipe away the paint off yourself before anyone catches you?
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS)
You know how I can tell when a movie comes out? I just look at it’s video game adaptation’s release date. Doesn’t really help with romantic comedies, but it does the job. Based off of the movie of the same name, Legend of the Guardians has you playing as a bunch of owls known as the Guardians (Original I know). Admittedly, I don’t think I’ve ever played a flight combat game as an owl before. Biplanes, yes. Dragons, yes. Owls? Definitely not.
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest (PS3, Wii, DS)
Seven years. That’s how long ago the last Lord of the Rings movie came out, and here we are with more games based off of the movie. How’s that for staying power. This here follows Aragorn’s story in saving Middle Earth. The game is purposefully cartoony so that the young’uns can play it without their parents having a fit. If it makes a difference, the PS3 version has Move support. Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Truth or Lies (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
You know those games that’s really only as fun as the players playing it? Truth or Lies could either be the raciest, foulest, most hilarious game you’ll ever play with your circle of friends or the most boring. It just entirely depends on how interesting your lives are. As far as I can tell, it’s just a series of questions that you and your friends have to answer truthfully or not. If you’re in the mood to bare it all with your friends, here’s your excuse for doing it.
Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales (Wii)
Speaking of movies with games that comes out years later, exactly how much do kids like that damned movie? Apparently enough to warrant yet another game based off of Pixar’s Cars. To be slightly fair, this game is based off of the Mater’s Tall Tales series seen on TV, but still. My guess is you get to play out his stories. Unless you must have everything Cars related, this one isn’t for you.
Deadliest Catch: Sea of Chaos (Wii)
I’ve seen plenty of fishing games in my time, but I’ve got to admit. This is the first time I’ve seen a fisherman game. Unfortunately it’s hampered by the fact that it’s based off of the reality TV show and will undoubtedly disappoint anyone who’s hoping the game will have the drama found in the show. Sorry folks. This is all fishing with a bunch of mini-games like sorting through your catch or throwing a grappling hook to hook in your catch. Ocean sprays and freezing arctic temperatures not included.
Scooby-Doo! And the Spooky Swamp (Wii, DS)
Beware, evil-doers! Scooby-Doo and the gang are back in action. Play as anyone of the Scooby gang as they investigate a spooky swamp where a mysterious swamp girl is brewing some mysterious brew. Oooooooohhhh, mysterious. You’ll be jumping and fighting your way through a bunch enemies on your quest for clues and Scooby snacks to keep yourself healthy. Throw in some shotguns and zombies, and I will be all over this game.
Stop the presses folks! Swords is coming out. In case you haven’t figured it out, Swords is an excuse to use the Wii Motion Plus to swing your arms around pretending the Wii Remote is a sword. You play as Hiro who for, some god forsaken reason, has to fight a bunch of swordsmen, and one swordswoman, through the ages. You even get to fight Lancelot! Happy swinging.
Deer Drive (DS)
Looks like Cabela has some competition this week. As you can guess, you get to hunt deers in this game. Oddly enough you find power-ups and upgrades along the tracks. Who knew deers farts out power ups? You can also get a friend to join you in the hunt, if you can find a friend who somehow also decided to get this game. What are the odds of that?
Fancy Nancy: Tea Party Time (DS)
How the hell did the Tea Party get their own video… oh wait a minute. Never mind. Turns out Fancy Nancy is a series of children’s picture books about a little girl who likes to dress extravagantly. This game is basically a series of mini-games to help her prepare a tea party. I wonder if they’ll make a game based off of the Everyone Poops book?
My Tutor 2: Reading (DS)
On the one hand, I encourage the use of DSes to help educate whether it be reading or ‘rithmatic or enriching Uranium. On the other hand, I have to write an entry for these titles. Yup, I’ve decided. I hate these “games.”
Phineas and Ferb Ride Again (DS)
I don’t see it. I just don’t. How does one see a face and decided that a triangle is the best geometric shape for it? That’s right, I’m talking about Phineas and Ferb, the eternally on Summer vacation step brothers. Here we get to follow along on their outrageous quest to ward off boredom and make stuff up to entertain themselves involving supervillains and plans for world dominations or something to that degree. I hope you like your little boys triangular (Dear god that sounds wrong!).
Wednesday September 15, 2010
Chuck E. Cheese’s Playhouse (DS)
Last I checked, Chuck E. Cheese is a place you go to have fun. Not learn, which makes this game’s focus on skill building and learning for young girls that much stranger. Is this a signal that Chuck E. Cheese is turning into a pre-school? Where am I going to get my skeeball fix? Where am I going to go when I want to hug a giant rat?
Thursday September 16, 2010
Gladiator Begins (PSP)
Are they making a prequel to the Ridley Scott movie? Will it star Russell Crowe or are they going to cast some younger actor to play Maximus? Is this even related to the Gladiator movie? Why would they want to make a Gladiator game where all you do is fight one gladiator match after another even if you get access to 500 swords, shields, and other Roman tools of destruction? Where’s the fun in having to please the crowd and devoting allegiance to one of five patrons just to get different storylines? So many questions, so little time.
Friday September 17, 2010
Kung Fu Rider (PS3)
I will readily admit that the thought of riding down a hill on an office chair sounds absolutely awesome, but dear god a whole game about that! All it is really is a snowboarding game dressed up as a frazzled detective running away from the mafia via office chair. The premise is just wacky enough it might just work. It’s the fact that everything is controlled by the Move controller that’s bothering me though.
Start the Party! (PS3)
Remember the EyeToy set of mini-games? Well, this is basically the Move version of that. The Move controller is your in-game controller and changes depending on the mini-game. In one game it’s a paintbrush. In another, it’s a flyswatter. The little demo I’ve seen of it looks somewhat promising, but then again, it’s a mini-game collection. That genre’s hit percentage is rather low and extremely biased towards Nintendo.
I feel like the video game industry just barfed out everything it had in its bowels after a buffet dinner. Even with that imagery, I’ll still pick up Halo: Reach like the rest of you out there. I’ll see you online.
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