Monday, March 10, 2008

Gaming Overload!

Ah, the gods have smiled upon me this month. That link to Nintendo World Report isn't just for show, dear readers. I work there, reviewing Wii and DS games. Publishers send me the game and I play it for a week and then review it at NWR. The game is free, and I turn any game I don't keep (90% of 'em) into credit at Microplay, the local gaming store. I have kept very few games, but that short list includes such gems as Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, The Phantom Hourglass, Call of Duty 4 (DS), and Naruto: Ninja Destiny. Actually, I think that's all of 'em. At any rate, months of reviewing absolute crap has resulted in a sizeable credit buildup at Microplay, and as of yesterday that credit score dropped all the way down to $4. Why?

God of War: Chains of Olympus is the best reason since Mega Man: Powered UP! to own a PSP. Fans of the GoW series on the PS2 will be happy to know that developer Ready At Dawn have crafted an experience that is exactly the same, if not somehow improved, on the two console games. The magic system has been simplified, the secondary weapon (the Gauntlet of Zeus) is a kick-ass alternative to the Blades of Chaos, and there load times. This is a UMD, people, and there are no load times? That's un-possible!

It really is a fantastic game, and I can't praise it enough. Ready At Dawn even managed to cram bonus costumes, five challenges of the gods, concept art, and movies onto the disk. The game itself is fairly short (5 hours on medium difficulty), but each second is packed with pure, 100% awesomeness. Plus, shorter game = more replay.

And yes, there are subtle ties to the PS2 games (Chains is a prequel) and even a hint for what's in store in God of War 3, which will inevitably be developed for the PS3.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the game Wii owners have been looking forward to since the system's launch. It's basically a free-for-all fighting game with characters from the entire Nintendo universe. Brawl adds a multitude of new modes and challenges to the already diverse Melee (GameCube) roster, as well as a ton of new playable characters. There's a new story mode that I started playing last night, and while it's awesome in its own right, I need to get some people over to play some multiplayer. Brawl is also my first online Wii game, so if you have the game, toss your "Smash Code" in the comments section. My fellow NWR editors are on my roster, but nobody else (so far). As soon as my friend Luke gets his Wii connected to his Wi-Fi router, I'll get him too. I have only scratched the surface of this enormous game and it may be the death of me!
For the curious, my Smash Code is: 2835-9786-5053.

Here's a game that's hard to describe without a screenshot. In Patapon, You control a little army of eyeball warriors who defend their home against invading...giant crabs (and other beasties) in an effort to secure their homeland and reach the promised land. The catch? It's all done to a beat. While a drum beats in the background, you signal your troops with various combinations of the O, X, square, and triangle buttons, which represent different drum beats. For example, Pata Pata Pata Pon means "walk forward." Pon, Pon, Pata, Pon means "attack." It's really something you have to experience. The whole game becomes an RPG/rhythm/puzzle/action hybrid. The art style is incredible and surprisingly diverse, and the music ramps up the more actions you take without missing a beat. There's no pause function, but that's what the Home and sleep functions are for.

So the next few weeks are booked for me! I'll still post, of course, but my postings may slow down to a trickle. Fear not, though! I've still got several uber-posts on the brain, including a new Nyctosaurus draft (thanks for the tips, everybody) and a Dimorphodon sketch. Everybody's favorite toucan-headed rhamphorynchoid will be the other pterosaur in the piece, and I'm giving it puffin colors, because that beak just begs for such a scheme!

1 comment:

Louis Bérubé said...

Meanwhile I'm still tearing my hair out over Operation Flashpoint.