Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Buy me Bonestorm, or go to Hell: New Releases for the Week of 2-20-11

Xenogears (PlayStation Network)

The classic Square RPG, now available for download. This is one of my favorite games of all time, and if you like RPGs I can't recommend it strongly enough. If you play only one game about badass martial artists, giant battling mecha, sci-fi Euhemerism, flying cities, reincarnation, love that spans millennia, lost ancient civilizations, dissociative identity disorder, and harvesting people to use as spare parts in a giant interstellar biotechnological superweapon this year, make it this one.

Bulletstorm (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)

Gleefully over-the-top first-person shooter. I'm looking forward to this one; I enjoyed the demo so much that I preordered it, something I almost never do.

(Though it also helped that I was able to get a $20 rebate on a future purchase for my preorder, effectively making it cost only $40. Also, after repeated exposures to the demo, I'm sort of afraid that Steven Blum will find out where I live, hunt me down, and bludgeon me to death with my own sundered limbs if I don't buy the game as soon as possible.)

Like my beloved Vanquish, it has something that I hope will become more common: a score. I like the idea of a game that pushes me as a player to play levels again and again so I can become quantifiably more badass each time, instead of just treating its main campaign as something to push through to see all of the game's content or as a glorified tutorial for multiplayer mode. I'm not a huge fan of multiplayer gaming, so it's nice to see games that will have to live or die according to the quality of their campaign.

Killzone 3 (PlayStation 3)

Continuation of the first-person shooter series. I played the demo for Killzone 2 and didn't much care for it. I haven't played the demo for this one yet, so maybe that will change my mind, but as things stand now I'm not really interested.

Also, while I'm aware that a “kill zone” is an actual concept in military tactics*, that doesn't change the fact that “Killzone” is probably the dullest, most generic-sounding name of any popular video game franchise. It's just barely a step up from calling it Game Where You Shoot People.

*(Albeit one that doesn't appear to have any particular relevance to Killzone's story or gameplay; the series seems like it could just as easily have been named Encirclement or Bounding Overwatch or Guys Standing in a Square Formation and Stabbing People With Huge Fucking Spears.)

I know that a lot of people really loved the last one, though, so your mileage may vary.

Dreamcast Collection (Xbox 360 and PC)

At long last, you can once again experience the magic of Sega's beloved but ill-fated Dreamcast with... 5 games that were already available as separate downloads, or soon will be. One of which is a game about fishing. Lucky for Sega that I just can't stay angry at the company that released Vanquish.

Radiant Historia (Nintendo DS)

RPG from Atlus, with a story based on time travel and the ability to change history.

I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and actually buy a Nintendo DS soon. Atlus has made some of my favorite games of the past five or six years, and there's a finite number of times the words “Another  Atlus RPG I can't play” can echo through my neocortex before a fuse blows and I wake up one morning with a bunch of inexplicable gaps in my memory and the words YENRUOJ EGNARTS IESNET IMAGEM NIHS written in blood on the ceiling.

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