There hasn’t been anything too exciting going on with me lately. I’ve mostly been playing Grand Theft Auto IV on 360 with the little bit of spare gaming time I’ve had lately. That, and a retro PC game I’m planning on reviewing very soon. I’ve also been playing a little bit of Armed Assault single player on PC and the occasional romp through my Rock Band drum tour.
Speaking of 360 games my library got a tiny bit more respectable this week. A friend saw a copy of Beautiful Katamari and nabbed it from Toys R’ Us for 8 bucks or so. I went back there with her to check on what else they had and the gaming section clerk practically forced me to purchase a copy of Prey for 4 bucks. I’d heard mostly good things and I figured for 4 bucks why not? He also offered me a cheap copy of Condemned from his private stash but I (foolishly?) resisted temptation. Monday afternoon I ran over to Gamestop to take advantage of the 20% off 3 used gamed or accessories coupon that I had been waiting on and ended up picking up Battlestations: Midway, Dead Rising, and Lost Planet. Oddly enough only Battlestations: Midway was actually on my “games to buy cheap sometime” list but Dead Rising I’ve heard almost nothing but praise about and I had thought Lost Planet looked slick since well before its release. It’ll probably be quite a while before I play any of the above though as it seems that GTA4 will continue kicking my ass for quite a while to come but at least I’ll have them for a rainy day. Now I just need to resist the urge to go back out and buy some more of the older games on my wishlist…
Since last time I posted we’ve had E3 so I figured I’d briefly run over which of the games shown more or less at or around the time of the show that I’m interested in. I’m sure I’ll forget quite a few!
First, the Microsoft stuff impressed me the most. This shouldn’t be any big surprise since I’m generally not a Sony fan and most non-rabid fanboy types from all circles agree that MS had the best showing. The Netflix integration, if its as good as it sounds, should be amazing. As it is now I use a lot of Comcast’s “On Demand” service and would probably use Xbox Live’s rental service more as well if it weren’t for the very similar content selection. I’m assuming that Netflix would give me a much wider selection along with hopefully much more economical flat monthly fee based pricing. Sign me up! The new player avatars (dubbed “MiiToos” by some forum comedians) seem interesting. I’ll hold off final judgment until they’re in our hands. I’m not sure what to think about the new layout but unlike some 360 fans I don’t hate it and since I do think the dashboard interface needs an overhaul I’m willing to give it a whirl. The new parties addition sounds great. Lets just hope it works as good as it sounds.
I can’t not mention Nintendo. The Wii MotionPlus thing, a controller add-on that is supposed to give the Wiimote more precise, 1:1 detail motion detection seems like a pretty big deal to me. The sometimes amazing inaccurate and just plain weird motion controls in virtually all Wii games is one of my biggest complaints about the system and I’d love to see more games make use of 1:1 controls especially given that I, like a lot of people, was under the impression that was what the Wii was going to give us in the first place. New Wii sports game? Bought!
Ok, ok… Some games in no particular order. I’ll try to keep it brief:
- Spore still looks awesome. The creature creator was a lot of fun. I’ll definitely be purchasing it.
- Rockband 2 looks great. I’ve gotten a ton of enjoyment out of the first one and still do for that matter. The fact that it’ll be compatible with Rock Band’s DLC and even many of the songs on the disk is a big selling point for me and an amazingly smart move on their behalf. Now I just need to decide if I should drop the 300 bucks for the super badass drum kit. 🙂
- Gears of war 2 is definitely on my list. I played the first one well after the hype had worn off and it actually surpassed my expectations on every level.
- Fable 2 is almost certainly a purchase for me. Most of the criticisms of the first game were accurate but ultimately my biggest one was that I had a great time playing it and wanted more.
- Mirror’s Edge looks very interesting. I’ve got my eye on it.
- Alpha Protocol looks killer. I generally love espionage games as well as RPG+FPSish hybrids.
- SOE’s Free Realms looks pretty nifty despite its kiddy focus. I’ve always been drawn towards more social MMOs such as Ultima Online, Eve Online, and early Star Wars Galaxies. I really don’t understand why there aren’t more companies going that direction. I guess it is simply easier to bank on people being addicted to vicious level grinds than having a second life.
- Left 4 Dead has a lot of potential. Valve + Zombies… OK!
- Little Big Planet still looks amazing.
- A new Wolfenstein game? Ok… In my humble opinion Nazis + undead, sci-fi, alternate history stuff always has a chance of being great… period.
- A new KOTOR MMO eh? I like Star Wars and I enjoyed KOTOR so I’ll definitely be watching this.
- Deadspace. Sci-fi survival horror. Jury is still out for me but if it incorporates enough interesting gameplay elements I could definitely see myself purchasing it.
- There’s also apparently a new Halo game of some sort in the works, rumor has it that it may even be an MMO. If it’s an MMOFPS then I’m sold. I loved Planetside and I love other FPSes that try to incorporate massive and persistent qualities such as the Battlefield series. Sign me up!
- Speaking of the MMOFPS genre one of Sony’s big show offs was MAG – a “massive” tactical FPS (or 3PS?) game. I have to admit this kind of shit is right up my alley. I hope it ends up coming to PC… I’d hate to have to break down and buy a Blu-ray player. 😛
- Halo Wars looks cool. I dig the Halo series and am definitely drawn to the idea of a Halo RTS.
- Castle Crashers… Where are you?
- Fallout 3 looks great. I loved the first two games and I loved Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series of games so this seems like a no brainer to me. I’m sure a lot of Fallout fans are still crying about it but not I.
- Mercenaries 2 needs more press. The first game was one of my favorite console games from the last generation and was seriously underrated in my opinion. Mercenaries 2 looks to be more of the same GTA3-in-a-warzone type goodness.
- Megaman 9! This shit looks tight! I’m not a huge fan of platformers but when I’m in the mood, along side the Castlevania series, the Megaman series is one of my absolute favorites.
- Puzzle Quest: Galactrix – hey, how cool is this?
- I don’t know much about Battlestations: Pacific but the first game (Battlestations: Midway) looked and sounded great, in fact I just bought a copy as I mentioned above, so I’m definitely paying attention to its sequel.
- The Brothers in Arms game looks interesting. I’m a large fan of the Full Spectrum Warrior series and the first two Brothers in Arms games were essentially FSW and a WWII FPS mashed together. I only played the first one but I enjoyed it enough for this to catch my attention.
- Dawn of War 2. Not much to say about it except Dawn of War is probably one of my favorite FPS games of all time and 2 looks to be more of the same.
- Operation Flashpoint 2 has finally recently come out of hiding and looks amazing. I need to see more but I can’t imagine not buying this.
- I haven’t play Saints Row yet but it looks and sounds like a competent GTA3 clone, enough to make my “someday” wishlist even, so naturally I’m watching Saints Row 2.
- Tomb Raider: Underworld looks decent.
- The Witcher: Enhanced Edition will probably end up in my collection sooner or later. I’ve yet to play The Witcher but it looks good and I figure this re-release is the perfect opportunity to finally nab it.
- Finally, Borderlands looks amazingly interesting. I remember hearing about this game before but somehow it fell completely off my radar until I watched some of the newly released gameplay footage. Another FPS with RPG elements… And like Fallout 3 it seems to be set in somewhat of a dark, gritty future as well. I’m very interested in this one!
All in all plenty to look forward to. I’d almost say “too much” if I didn’t know that half of the games that look interesting now will probably either suck or at least be too mediocre to worry about come launch time.