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Last week was great right? Barely anything worth mentioning. A bunch of mini-game collections. Just the time we needed to play as much Halo Reach as humanly possible right? Unfortunately, it was not meant to last. This week’s releases have decided to bury us once again in yet another flood of releases. I hope you have a boat.

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

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)

Tuesday September 28, 2010
When the Rock Band franchise came about, the Guitar Hero series tried a little too hard to play the me-too game of following in their footsteps. Basically, they tried to take out as much of the gameplay elements out of Guitar Hero as possible. For the most part, Guitar Hero did a pretty good job of making it competitive with the Rock Band franchise, but it really isn’t until this Guitar Hero that it is finally setting itself apart from Rock Band. With Rock Band 3 promising a realistic guitar experience complete with an actual 6 string guitar, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is infusing itself with some very game-y elements like a storyline for single player mode. The God of Rock is in battle with The Beast and needs you to recruit warrior of rock, basically the usual list of rockers we’ve come to know and love like Lars and Jonny Napalm, to help him win. Another new element is the transformation mechanic. Each of these “warriors” has an inner demon that can be unleashed to both transform them and give them special power-ups like having a constant X2 multiplier or being able to revive themselves should they fail. There’s also a Quickplay+ mode where each song has special challenges that will undoubtedly require your rocker’s unique talents to beat. Another big change is the focus of the song list. Warriors of Rock will still support vocals, bass, and drums, but the songs are picked based on how good the guitar parts of the song are. It will also be completely metal focused instead of a blend of genres of the past titles. The name Guitar Hero may not necessarily garner the same reverence it once did, but the series has always been evolving for the better. Even if it did so a little too often.

 

Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)

Tuesday September 28, 2010

Oh Dead Rising. The game people loved despite itself. Despite its crappy save system and the horribly unbalanced psycho boss fights and the time limit, killing zombies with whatever you can get a hold of in a giant shopping mall is just too damn fun. Well, it’s been several years since the events of Willamette, Colorado, and this is Fortune City, basically Las Vegas, where they have a game show where they mutilate a bunch of zombies live on TV. Of course, all hell breaks loose when their cache of zombies managed to break out of wherever they were keeping them. From the various previews I’ve read, Dead Rising 2 appears to be structurally identical to Dead Rising. Same save system. More psycho bosses. Another time limit. So far the only difference I’ve seen, aside from locale and characters, is the weapons combo system. The best example of this can be seen on the box art. That there is a kayak paddle with chainsaws strapped to both ends, and no it doesn’t help lumberjacks cut down trees any faster. Oh and there’s co-op. As insane as the weapons customization appears, its probably going to be the co-op mode that will really set this one apart from its predecessor. Happy zombie smashing!

 

Honorable Mention

Front Mission Evolved (Xbox 360, PS3)

Tuesday September 28, 2010

Human shaped robots are undoubtedly extremely inefficient as a war machine in real life, but that’s not going to stop us from making buttloads of video games about them. In Front Mission Evolved, these mechs are called wanzers, and thankfully the in-game universe has an unfortunate habit for warfare. The biggest departure for this 15-year-old series is the fact that it’s a third person shooter like Armored Core instead of a strategy RPG. Instead of controlling a squad of wanzers in turn based combat, you take direct control of one of the wanzers in real time. Thankfully the wanzer customization seems to be intact. That was practically half the fun back in the other Front Mission games, but then again you were customizing a squad of wanzers instead of just one. Despite the change, my hands on time seemed pretty promising nonetheless. It’s not as fast and frenetic as Armored Core, but it’s certainly not the lumbering mechs of Mechwarrior. There’s also multiplayer mode as well, and given the fact that you’re controlling giant mechs instead of a bald space marine or cyborg, it might be a refreshing change of pace for some. Or a total bore because you’re not a bald space marine or cyborg. Here’s to hoping it’s the former.

 

Wii Party (Wii)

Sunday October 3, 2010

Wii Sports may have been the genesis of all the mini-game collections on the Wii, but it’s still really, really bizarre to see them basically succumbing to the genre that they practically created. For all intents and purposes, Wii Party is Mario Party except with Miis instead of Mario and his crew. You’re playing on a game board where you roll a dice, play a mini-game, end your turn, repeat. The game comes packed with 80 mini-games. Most of which sounds fairly standard procedure for mini-games, but this being Nintendo, some of them do sound fascinating. These involve how you interact with the Wii Remote. Instead of using it to control something on the screen,the game revolves around the Wii Remote itself. One game has you physically hiding the remote for another player to find. The remote’s speaker will make a little sound to help the player find it. Another has you setting down the controllers next to each other. Each one will make a different sound. The game will display an object, and the first person to pick up the Wii Remote emitting the corresponding sound wins. These 4th wall breaking mini-games will most certainly set it apart from all the others, but it’s hard to say if it will be enough to really make the game any good.

 

Coming This Week

Tuesday September 28, 2010

Battle Vs. Chess (Xbox 360, PS3)

Take regular chess, then add a bunch of weird twist to it, and you get Battle Vs. Chess. These weird modes include Madness, where the chess pieces are placed randomly around the board before a regular game of chess commences, Tactic mode, same thing except you get to pick where to put your pieces, Slasher mode, where capturing a piece means having to control your character in a third person action game style, Duel mode, same thing as Slasher mode except it’s a QTE instead, and Labyrinth mode. There’s barely any info on that last mode other than it’s chess meets Bomberman. Whatever that means. Weird modes aside, if you’ve always wanted to your chess game to be a little bit more of a visual affair, this is the game for you.

FIFA Soccer 2011 (ECKM*)

Fresh off a summer of international soccer fever, due to the World Cup tournament held in South Africa, comes EA Sports latest offering of their FIFA soccer game. FIFA 11 offers a deeper career mode, a creation center that allows you to build an entire club team and for the first time ever the ability to create and play as a keeper. FIFA already had down the fundamentals, but this new additions may just make it the man of the match.
-Mario Marquez

MySims SkyHeroes (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS)

Those MySims guys sure are flexible. In addition to being simple villagers, they’re also knights, racers, and even spies. Now they can add pilots to their repetoire. The evil Morcubus are taking over the skyways. It’s up to you and your piloting skills to stop him! With plane that can be customized for added lethality at your disposal, you might just be able to do it.

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)

Another Naruto game with yet another subtitle. This marks the 6th Naruto game I’ve written about with yet a different subtitle and a number at the end. Yet again we get another chance to make Naruto beat up a bunch of other ninjas who uses outlandish ninja magic. Will someone please explain to me why in the span of less than 2 years do we need about 4 nearly identical games from the same license?

Rapala Pro Bass Fishing (ECKM)

I could’ve sworn all fishing is is an excuse to sit around and drink beer. If these games are anything to go by, they’re exciting enough to warrant video games to be made out of them. This fishing game, apparently a first in the genre, is played out like a professional tournament complete with TV coverage and commentating. What exactly do they say? “And he’s waiting… Still waiting…. Oh he’s going for another can of beer. Would you look at that form as he reaches into the cooler and instantly found what he was looking for. Not a single wasted movement. We are truly witnessing a professional at work.”

SBK X: Superbike World Championship (PS3)

I wonder which is least popular around here? F1 racing or motorcycle racing? Well, for the little audience who like motorcycle racing, this one’s for you. Enjoy.

Get Fit With Mel B (PS3)

Fitness games are one thing, but fitness games by a has-been pop star? Now that’s something else. For those who don’t know, Mel B was Scary Spice of Spice Girls. They were around back when the internet was just starting to get its legs. Before the IPod existed. Back when I was in high school. Dear god, I’m old.

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)

And the Atelier series chugs on. Never heard of it? Don’t sweat it. The Atelier series is a JRPG series that always has alchemy as a main theme. This time around you play as Rorona who is an alchemist from Arland. Yeah, that’s all I know. The anime style is extremely Japanese, and the combat is very old school turn based. This one is definitely not aimed at the mainstream audience of the US.

NewU Fitness First Mind Body Yoga & Pilates Workout (Wii)

It’s like they just threw in a bunch of health fitness related words together didn’t they? This fitness games utilizes both Pilates and yoga for… some reason or another. It supports the Wii Motion Plus and the Balance Board to make it extra harder for you to lie to the game.

Samurai Warriors 3 (Wii)

I’m not sure who’s worst at not changing. Pokemon or the Koei Warriors series? Pokemon still has a giant audience that is constantly getting a new influx of audience. The Koei Warriors series, however, is constantly churning out these one guy versus an army games with slightly different features and occasionally dresses it up differently like the time they made a Gundam version. Samurai Warriors 3 isn’t really Samurai Warriors 3. It’s Samurai Warriors being released for the 3rd time. That’s true for just about everything in the Koei Warriors series.

Chuck E. Cheese’s Gameroom (DS)

Because one Chuck E. Cheese game isn’t enough, meet the third, and hopefully last, Chuck E. Cheese game in the span of 3 months. This one’s aimed at the younger boy gamer who still needs help with learning skills. See, Chuck E. Cheese isn’t just about stuffing junk food down your kids’ throat. They’re educational too.

Cosmos Chaos (DS)

If I didn’t tell you anything, what would you say is this game? That’s right! It’s an educational vocabulary game aimed at 4th graders! How did you guess that? I would’ve never come up with that in a million years.

Scripps Spelling Bee (DS)

You know it’s some kind of an omen when even a spelling bee competition gets its own game. I just don’t know if it’s a harbinger of doom or of prosperity. Although there is a spelling bee mode (which I’m guessing is done through audio when asked to spell a word), the game comes with a couple other word related games like word search and whatnot. Here’s to hoping that this is an omen for prosperity.

 

Wednesday September 29, 2010

Time Crisis: Razing Storm (PS3)

I love Time Crisis. The whole hiding anytime you want mechanic is superfun, and it’s not often you get to use your foot for something other than accelerating at the arcade. Despite the sad state of affairs for arcades, Razing Storm did come out for the arcades recently. Now that the PS3 has the Move, they don’t have to bundle a light gun anymore and just use the Move instead. This being a spin-off of the Time Crisis series, it’s a little bit less about accuracy and more about pure, adrenaline pumping action as you basically mow down anything holding a gun.

 

LTTP

 

Let’s see, a crapload of zombies with a lawnmower or fools on the internet? Which one do I want to kill more of this week? I miss killing zombies, so Dead Rising 2 for me then. How about you guys? Who’s up for a little exercise with Scary Spice?

 

* = Every Console Known to Man

 

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