Happy Memorial Day everybody! Wait that was yesterday. Happy belated Memorial Day everybody! This week we’ll see a truly rare breed of games. A PS3 exclusive title. In fact, we’ll be seeing two of them this week. No joke. Aside from that though, there doesn’t seem to be much else. Unless you’re hyped up for the upcoming game based off of Pixar’s movie “Up” that’s coming out for Every Console Known to Man (or ECKM as I like to say).
Remember. Release dates are quite literally made at the whims of the publisher. The following are subject to change without any warning by the publishers.
Monday May 25, 2009
Personal Trainer: Walking (DS)
Leave it to Nintendo to make a game out of a pedometer. The idea of this “game” is to track your daily activity through the pedometer that you have on you through the day. At the end of the day, you sync it with your DS wirelessly, and the “game” reads the data off of the pedometer. From there it makes a bunch of pretty charts and does some analyzation. Some minigames and the ability to track and compare up to 4 “players,” activities through 3 additional pedometers which can be bought separately rounds out the rest of the package. If you want, you can even put the pedometer on your dog and see just how active they are when you’re not there. Also, this is the first DS game to implement Miis just like the ones from your Wii although I can’t tell if you can import them from your Wii. An interesting little game that might encourage some to be a little bit more active just for the sake of making the little animated in-game pedometer happy.
Tuesday May 26, 2009
Damnation (Xbox 360, PS3)
Speaking of rare breeds, how about a Third Person Shooter without a cover system. That’s what Damnation is. Instead of a cover system, Damnation opted for Prince of Persia-esque agility to differentiate itself from most other shooters. As the developers in the developer videos I watched kept reiterating over and over again, Damnation is a “shooter gone vertical.” This means that the levels don’t have a simple, single path to the objective. Supposedly, each level will have multiple path that will include a great amount of moving up and/or down through the environment. As for the setting, it’s a cross between steampunk taken to the next technological step, which oddly enough means robots and cybernetics, and the wild west. So in short, futuristic cowboys without laser guns. The videos I watched seemed to include a great deal of platforming and shooting bad guys, which looked a little too much like a Helghast. It’s almost like a Prince of Persia game with guns. Which really doesn’t sound all that bad. I’d keep my eye on this one.
Up (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS aka ECKM)
Pixar’s annual animated movie is getting a game. Big surprise. Like just about every animated movie video game tie-in, I’m sure this one is a 3D platformer that will include all the characters that you come across in the movie — in this case Carl, Russel, Kevin the prehistoric bird, and Dug the talking dog. Following the co-op trend, Up will allow you to play co-operatively all the way to the end of the game. I call dibs on the talking dog!
Space Camp (Wii, DS)
Add another game into the growing pile of minigame collections. The only difference between this one and the others is that it’s all space themed. Some of the minigames involve doing science experiment, flying a spacecraft, and even defending the moon from invaders. Aspiring astronouts, this one’s for you.
Fallout 3 — Game Add-On Pack: The Pitt and Operation: Anchorage (Xbox 360)
The name says it all. For the poor broadbandless Xbox 360 owners, Bethesda, like Harmonix, also hears your pleas. This is two of the downloadable expansion packs for Fallout 3 that’s been available for everyone else over the Xbox Live Marketplace. This is their chance to get their hands on the expansion packs without having to steal their neighbor’s broadband connection.
Cross Edge (PS3)
So you thought Capcom vs. Marvel was insane huh? Well try Capcom vs. Marvel vs. DC vs. Tecmo vs. SNK! Wipe yourself off. I just made that up, but something similar is happening in the Strategy RPG genre though. Cross Edge is literally done with the collaboration of 5 Japanese publishers — Capcom, Nippon Ichi Software, Namco Bandai, Gust, and Idea Factory. Each publisher takes a couple of characters from their games and stuffed it into Cross Edge. Some of the characters include Felicia and Morigan from the Dark Stalkers series, Etna and the Prinnies from the Disgaea series, and some other characters from other series that I’ve only very vaguely have heard of. This is truly a Japanophile’s dream come true. Unfortunately, not much is said about the actual combat system, but I’m sure you can expect over the top finishing moves and a lot of talking.
Attention fans of sandbox/open world games. Have Sony got a game for you. In inFamous, you take on the role of Cole who woke up to a city devastated by a bomb that he unknowingly brought in. He also woke up with some new electrically based powers giving him abilities such as shooting lightning bolts out of his hands and sucking out electricity from anything with a charge including people. In this city, you get to choose whether you become its hero or just another threat to it. Depending on which morality path you choose to take, your powers will also evolve differently as well. Whereas the path of good will give your powers some pinpoint accuracy, the path of evil makes your powers more suited for crowd control than anything else. From the looks of the videos I’ve seen, this might be another reason non-PS3 owners might reconsider their stance.
The Munchables (Wii)
What happens when Katamary Damacy and Pac Man have kids? I’m pretty sure you’d get The Munchables. The Munchables are peaceful, if voracious, beings whose homeworld is being invaded by the evil space pirates led by Don Onion. What’s a peaceful people to do? What they do best of course. Eat them. By eating their enemies, the Munchables gets bigger and bigger. They’ll start with the smaller enemies and work their way up to defeat enemies and bosses with food incorporated into their names. Of course, like every single game in existence today, it has a co-op mode as well. The colorful, kiddie graphics maybe a bit of a turn-off for some, but if the gameplay holds out, graphics really don’t matter.
Rolling Stone: Drum King (Wii)
And the rhythm game genre just keeps on chugging. This one focuses on the drumming of rock music and, more importantly, is played without a cheap plastic drum set. You can rock out to songs like Smash Mouth’s All Star, Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild, or The Clash’s I Fought the Law. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that any of the songs will using master tracks. Instead, all the songs will be re-recorded by a sound alike band. That might explain why this game will only set you back $40 instead of the customary $50. People spoiled by the all-master-track-setlist of Rock Band and Guitar Hero may not like the idea of playing their music games with cover bands, but if you can get over that, this might be an interesting side game for them.
Speed Zone (Wii)
Do you have 7 friends over at your house often and only have a Wii? Detn8 Games figured you might run into that problem and made Speed Zone just for you. Speed Zone is a racing game that features an 8 player split screen versus mode with the help of 4 Wiimote and any combination of 4 Nunchuks, Classic Controllers, GameCube controllers, or even Logitech wireless racing wheels. I have to admit. I was impressed by that, that is until I saw the screenshots of some very drab, very flat graphics with an art style thought up by an amateur artist. Admitedly, it’s probably done so that it can accommodate the 7 extra screens for your seven friends which you have over oh so very often.
Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past (DS)
Jake Hunter had another DS game that came out almost a year ago here in the US, but that didn’t seem all that well received by the critics. Judging by what I read, it got wrong everything that needed to go right for a mystery-adventure game to be any good. Memories of the past contains the same content of its predecessor but adds a whole slew of new content. It even re-localized the older content for this collection of Jake Hunter mysteries. Some of the new content includes new mysteries, some short stories, some side stories, and even some developer interviews. It sounds like the collectors edition of the original Jake Hunter game except way better. Whether or not that could offset the supposedly low quality of the content remains to be seen.
Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Council 4 (DS)
Most Naruto games concentrate on the frenetic battles between the characters of the show. This one seems to be taking a slightly different path. From the video, it looks to be a 2D platformer where you get to play as one of the many characters from the Naruto universe. Each character will have their own special attacks. Many of which will utilize the touch screen to pull off. Just so the Naruto fans know, the story takes place 2 and a half years after the events of the classic Naruto series. That means you’ll be controlling a slightly older versions of the characters. Chances are good that Naruto still says “Believe it” though.
Puffins: Island Adventure(DS)
Yet again, another mini-game collection. Unlike the other ones, this one’s a little bit harder spot masquerading as a pets game. In this one, each mini-game represent an activity that a puffin does in real life like learning to dive, fish, or fly. If you do well enough, you might get to raise your own puffin family. Aside from that, you can also unlock videos of real life puffins in their natural habitat. There’s even an online versus mode for, I’m guessing, some of the mini-games. Sounds to me like the perfect game for people who just loves puffins or cute penguin-ish birds.
Puzzle City (DS)
Speaking of mashing Pac Man and Katamary Damacy, how about Tetris and Sim City? Picture this. Different shaped boxes comes rolling down a conveyor belt. Your job isn’t to match them together, but to use them to build buildings like homes, schools, factories, and casinos and place them in your city. It’s literally a Sim City game with Tetris on the side. Weird. Interesting, but weird. Hopefully you won’t mind the fact that it’s been available on the internet for 7 bucks though.
Sanrio Party! (DS)
This mini-game collection is kind of interesting. I don’t mean the content though. From what little info I found, it’s probably just a bunch of mini-games involving the Sanrio characters. I’m sure Hello Kitty is involved somehow. What I mean by interesting is that I’m not sure if it’s coming out or not. The publisher, Empire Interactive, closed down earlier this month, but the game is still on the list. I don’t quite know how that affects the release of this game, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy (DS)
Here’s another case of a game that’s been available on the internet. At least this time, they’re of equal price. As the name suggest, you’ll taking on the role of Sherlock Holmes as he investigates the disappearance of a famous archaeologist in a PCA (Point and Click Adventure) style. As a fan of mystery stories and PCAs, this one has me intrigued.
Crimson Gem Saga (DS)
It’s amazing how the PSP is becoming a home to these heavily anime-inspired games. This one seems to be a straight up, turn based JRPG with some well drawn anime cutscenes and, I’m sure, plenty of exposition. Also, Crimson Gem Saga is part of the Astonishia Story universe, whatever that means.
Finally, I’m about to get some use out of my PS3 again. Other than that, Damnation has my attention as well as that Sherlock Holmes game. What about you guys/gals? Anyone excited for, oh say, Sanrio Party?