Tug Your God Out

Dwell into the pasttime of empowerment; video games

A look ahead to that madness that is the holiday video game bonaza 2010

I’ve probably started about fifty blog posts since the last blog I published.  Either I get too busy or I don’t like the concept or it runs too long or a million other excuses.  In all honesty I need to worry about posting frequency first, getting into a routine, and once in that routine the rest will follow.

I had a lot of potential topics I could breach today like why The Saboteur is definitely the most overlooked game of 2009 or why Ys Seven is a complete masterpiece; even the long awaited review of Final Fantasy 13, which probably will have to be truncated to a simple “it’s my favorite Final Fantasy game to date.”  I do want to eventually do a blog about The Curfew and why I’ve never finished a Dragon Quest game since the first one, but right now it’s towards the end of August and if you’re a gamer — you know what that means. . .

HOLIDAY SUPER DYNAMIC COOKING FUN TIME er all the holiday releases start to creep out the door so fast, the next thing you know a St. Bernard with a barrel around its neck is pulling you out of the avalanche by the arm.

People have sort of beaten it into our heads ZOMG THE FIRST HALF OF THIS YEAR BEST EVER!!!! And it’s hard to disagree — the top 10 list of the year, so far, runs about 40 deep and we’re not even into DYNAMIC FUN TIME yet.

With so many games set to come out between now and the end of November, it’s always a good idea to check out what’s coming out and plan.  What do you have to have day one; what can you con some stupid family member into dropping sixty bones on; what do you have no qualms spending a gift card on; what can wait until next year or even be Goozex’d. And thus that’s what we’re going to sit down and do right now….and by ‘we’ I mean ‘me.’  You just get to sit there and read my prattling.

Within the headings these are in no order beyond what day they get released.

DAY ONE MUST HAVES

PROFFESOR LAYTON AND THE UNWOUND FUTURE (September) — Do I even need to explain this one? If you’ve never played a Professor Layton game. . . ugh, just. . . ugh. Do so. This is the third game in the series. I don’t think you really need to play the previous two to jump in but you might as well anyway because they’re amazing.  Like eating an ice cream sundae out of Jessica Alba’s asshole. Yes, that amazing.

RECETTEAR (September) — It’s an RPG about setting up your own item store. It’s been around forever, it’s just now in English. And $20 so it fits even into Dave’s budget. Yeah, it’s an RPG about owning an item store. . . what? I go stupid fanboy for crap like this. You guys go on and have your Gears of War and Halos… I’ll be quietly rearranging potions on the shelf over there. Thank you, and come again.

FLIP’S TWISTED WORLD (Setpember) — It was in my top 5 I was looking forward to in Quarter 2. Obviously it got pushed back. Obviously I’m still excited for it. Obviously it’s still going to sell like shit. Obviously.

SID MEIER’S CIVILIZATION V (September) — Yeah I don’t have a computer with specs to run it. I’ll have a very expensive paper weight for a couple months (years) before I do. I can’t wait to tear off the shrink wrap probably about the time Civ 6 comes out. Awesome.

ETERTIAN ODYSSEY 3 (September) — Up there with Professor Layton as prehaps one of my favorite series. It’s probably in my top ten favorite series although there’s a lot of tough choices in that. Add in new classes and exploration on a boat and this might be my most highly anticipated game of the holidays. IM ON A BOAT MOTHERFUCKA!

DEAD RISING 2 (September) — Did you play the first Dead Rising? Did you see you can fucking put chain saws on pretty much anything from an oar to a shopping cart? Did you also see you can smack a zombie with a dildo? Did you also see it has fucking zombies? Did you also know we’re really not tired of zombies yet? Anyone who is — GTFO. *glares at Nick*

NARUTO ULTIMATE NINJA STORM 2 (September) — The sequel to the best Naruto game to date. Until Final Fantasy 13 came out the original Ninja Storm  was my pick for best looking game of this generation. Watching Ninja Storm 2 in motion and I have to say the series may have reclaimed the crown. Why the fuck can’t we get a Bleach, One Piece or even a Hitman REBORN game that even comes close to Ninja Storm?

ENSLAVED: ODYSSEY TO THE WEST (October) — I’m not going to lie — I liked Heavenly Sword a lot. A lot. And I’m probably going to like this quasi-follow up as well. A lot. Games need more hot-ass red heads with swords and shit. There’s two things that will sell me a game I know nothing about. 1) Shiny packaging and 2) hot-ass red heads with swords and shit.

FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS (October) — Remember my intial reaction to Fallout 3? THIS ISNT FALLOUT BAWWWWWW!!! Yeah, I got over that in a hurry and salivating for this follow up. I’m not insane enough to attempt hardcore mode where you have to maintain your water intake and bullets have actual weight (among other hardcore changes) but I will casually wade through the west coast wasteland at my own pace. Fun fact — I’ve never actually completed the main storyline of Fallout 3 and I played over 45 hours before I even attempted to search for my character’s father in the remenants of DC. I expect nothing less from New Vegas.

ROCK BAND 3 (October) — This one needs no explanation so I’ll move on. ITS FUCKING ROCK BAND 3 AND IT HAS KEYBOARDS.

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS (November) — Because that trailer is amazing. I may suck at Call of Duty but I absolutely fucking love their B rate over the top, Michael Bay-esque inane plots. To all those people that ripped on and criticized Modern Warfare 2’s narrative — fuck you, you marked out when Captain Price showed up; don’t lie. Yeah, this is no longer Infinity Ward but I’m taking a chance here. I think it’s going to be good. I think it might be fantastic. Just give me a lot of shit blowing up and political intrigue full of plot holes you can try a cross-Atlantic oil tanker through and I’m as happy as a pig in some mud or something. Yeah, I don’t know — just go with it. Even if the game sucks the waiting in line at the midnight release will be fucking killer.

ASSASSIN’S CREED: BROTHERHOOD (November) — One of my many gaming guilty pleasures. God the Assassin’s Creed games are bad. How people really thought AC2 was worthy of Game of the Year votes last year is beyond me. I guess drug use is more rampant than I first imagined. That’s the only explanation. But even if they’re shitty games I can’t see to fucking put them down.  The narrative is something out of a bad Dan Brown novel (I know that’s an oxymoron, all Dan Brown novels are bad) but I can’t help but being enthralled by it and soaking up every little piece of the story; comics, short films, art books, bad portable games. But the third time is the charm I hope. Brotherhood looks amazing and seeing as the leap between AC1 and AC2 is about the size of, oh, HERE TO JUPITER I can only imagine what more polish can do.  The multiple player actually sounds like something I’d play online, which is a huge plus.

CON SOMEONE INTO BUYING

MYSIMS: SKYHEROES (September) — Yeah my wife enjoys MySims. What better cover up in conning someone to buy a game for you than to pretend you’re getting the game because they enjoy the series.  And while she’s at work I’ll be building all sorts of shit, clapping while jumping up and down like a moron alongside the Sims characters.

FINAL FANTASY: THE 4 HEROES OF LIGHT (October) — It’s a Final Fantasy game. Relatives who don’t get me socks and underwear or never-was-in-fashion-discouted cologne from Macy’s tend to stick to things they know I like and I’ve been obbessed with Final Fantasy since the NES soooo….good chance someone will spring for this although I’m not sure really what the game is about. HAs there really not been that much on this game or have I just not paid attention? Either way it has to be better than last Christmas’s Crystal Bearers.

DEFJAM RAPSTER (October) — Oh God do I want this game bad. I’ve been practicing Hypnotize in the fucking mirror every morning. Though like all the SingStar titles we own (and that’s more than I’d like to admit) I’ve never had the stones to go through a Best Buy or Gamestop check-out with it in hand.  Maybe someone else’s hands or with someone else in me.  Yeah it’s lame to be self concious around store clerks but is it as lame as singing ABBA in your underwear. . . not that I do that, you know.

LITTLEBIGPLANET2 (November) — I can probably wait on this game but I can probably also con the wife into buying it as well. Sackboy is awesome and cute and she likes awesome and cute.  LBP1, as a platformer and a game, is shit.  The important part is the community and the creative aspects.  While LBP2 promises to allow people to create any type of genre of game, seeing as they really couldn’t put together anything but a medicore platformer the first time around, I’m doubting we’ll see anything better from their first time out making a shmup or RPG or whatever else. Definitely a wait and see game. As much as I geeked out about LBP and as highly as I still regard it — how often do I play it? Not much.

GIFT CARD

METROID: OTHER M (August) — I’ve talked to some of you before about this — I just don’t like the look or the preview chatter of Other M. I loved Prime and Hunters. Echoes got tedious. I absolutely hated Corruption.  Metroid has kind of fallen off my radar since then and teaming up with Team Ninja makes things even more lukewarm.  Still how can I not spend a giftcard to ultimately pick this one up on the 26th?

KINGDOM HEARTS: BIRTH BY SLEEP (September) — Man I really loved Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories. Man I really hate Kingdom Hearts 2 and that stupid-poopie-named one on the DS. The series started off so well and then took a complete nosedive. This one looks amazing but you can only shit on me so many times. Apparently that number stops at two. Unless you’re Guitar Hero games…then apparently I’ll just keep eating your shit sandwhich every year and smile. 

NHL 11 (September) — Ah up until they stop making the PC version I owned every single yearly update in the NHL series for the PC.  I loved the modding community that the PC and internet allows for. I want every fuckin minor leaguer in the world in my database. I want the puke inducing 3rd jerseys of the Boston Bruins, Anaheim Mighty Ducks (the stupid ones with the Michelin Man Duck on the front) and the Nashville Predators. I want JS Giguere’s goddamn goalie pads to look like JS Giguere’s goddamn goalie pads. Since EA has taken these wonderous things away from me thanks to the puny limited capabilities of console gaming, fuck them I’ll just buy this on someone else’s money.

CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW (October) — I’m not fully convinced this is a Castlevania game and not another game with the name Castlevania slapped on it. I’m also weary about how much involvement Hideo Kojima has had on the project. I love you Hideo but sometimes I just want a long break from you. After Metal Gear Solid 4, can we make it like at least seven years? Though thanks for Peace Walker….I guess I can’t be without you forever. I’ll wait for reviews to see how Lords of Shadow turned out, it’s just vastly different in feeling than any other Castlevania offering.

FABLE 3 (October) — Really wish I had waited for Fable 2 to hit bargain bins. I didn’t even really start touching it until it was already there and every time I have the feeling of going back and finishing Fable 2, I give myself a punch to the nuts and remember it’s fucking Fable 2 and the feeling usually passes along with a kidney stone or two. Still Peter Molyneaux is my British nigga and I want to listen to his hype wagon again for Fable 4 so eventually he’ll get my $60. It just won’t be day one. However, if I had some sort of gift card and everything else above this was sold out — then maybe.

DONKEY KONG COUNTRY RETURNS (November) — Dude, that trailer looks sooo sweet and fun. Then I remember that they’re making another Donkey Kong Country game. If you stick to it’s roots you pretty much get an overrated platform that will look dated in ten year. Ho hum. Don’t get me wrong — I actually do like DKC but it sits on a pedestal that it doesn’t belong upon. I’m really not that excited to play another one, but there’s certainly worse things I could get on a gift card for my Wii.

NEXT YEAR

IVY THE KIWI? (August) — Yuji Naka’s new game looks cute — honestly who the fuck watched Tazmania for Taz? It was always for the Kiwi. And Taz’s sister. Er….yeah. And Didgeri Dingo. But as cute as the game is it’s Yuji Naka and for the Wii — I can pick up a copy of this off Goozex for about 300 points sooner than later.

ACE COMBAT: JOINT ASSAULT (August) — I heart the Ace Combat games but I’ve always picked them up off the bargain bin bottom. I don’t see this one changing a thing.

VALKYRIA CHRONICLES 2 (August) — The original Valkyria Chronicles is a brilliant masterpiece. VC2 looks pretty much unappealing this far. Contray to popular belief, there’s tons of great shit on the PSP. Yes…I’m one of THOSE guys. What? You wanna fight about it?

RUSE (September) — This would be Day One…but only if I can some how con someone into buying me a decent gaming computer. Do you want to be the one that does that for me?

HALO: REACH (September) — Might piss some people off but I play Halo for the single player campaign and story. Me playing Halo or Call of Duty online is the equilvent of Retarded Freddie playing one on one with Magic Johnson. Teleporting Super Magic Johnson for NBA Jam. Just give me my crash helmet and unplug the microphone. I enjoy Halo immensely; I just enjoy it immensely by myself. Seeing as I still need to finish ODST I can pick up Reach when it gets cut in half.

PHANTASY STAR PORTABLE 2 (September) — Ok remember the shit sandwhichs of Kingdom Hearts and Guitar Hero? Yeah I tend to wind up eating Sega’s shit sandwhich every time they attempt to rekindle the glory and wonder that was Phantasy Star Online a decade ago. And every release I’m suckered into that nostalgia.

NBA JAM (October) — Everyone loves NBA Jam. Nothing wrong putting a quarter (or ten) into an NBA Jam cabinet.  And hell when it came to the SNES it made from some really awesome gatherings around the TV. . . and gave you another game to use your multi-tap for other than Bomberman. I’m just not sure I’m going to be paying full retail price today for something that’s arcade shallow. I do appreciate the fact that they’ve at least tried to spruce it up a bit so it doesn’t look like it’s just NBA Jam and nothing more, but  even then did they do enough?

KIRBY’S EPIC YARN (October) — Yeah, Nintendo almost admitted flat out that this was a game that just had the Kirby brand slapped onto it in order to sell a few more copies and shut Nintendo fans up. Still it looks cute and fun. Too bad I don’t see myself fitting it in until way after it’s $20.

GOD OF WAR: GHOSTS OF SPARTA (November) — I haven’t had enough when it comes to gouging the eyes out of Greek Gods. Very few video games I think really bring out a violent side in me, but wow watching Kratos go Columbine on Mount Olympus makes me think Jack Thompson might be right. If you don’t want to take on the entire world with a bunch of blades attached to chains attached to your arms after playing God of War, then you must be a woman.  Still it’s on the PSP which means I’ll probably be out and about amongst people when playing it; probably not the best idea. Just the title alone makes me want to kick people down stairs screaming THIS IS SPARTA. . . more than usual.

GRAN TURISMO 5 (November) — Hahahaha. Coming in Novemember? Yeah, right. The proverbial pigs will fly. It’s more likely that MTV will stop showing shit programming (and bring back fucking Kurt Loeder every hour) in 2010 than it is Gran Turismo 5 comes out in 2010. I put this in the wait for next year column because I’ll probably will be buying day one. . . next year. Or 2012. Better late than never guys.

Ok sorry for that. I’m sure 99.9% of you stopped reading about 1/5 the way through. I don’t blame you. Come back Wensday because I promise we’ll have more for you.

Until then you can leave your comments below — what are you looking forward to this holiday season? Is there any big holiday releases you think you can skip and pick up next year without much trouble?

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08/22/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 5 Games I’m Looking Forward to in Quarter 2

This will be supplemental to yesterday’s post, as I want to also look ahead to April, May and June, or the second quarter.  The releases kind of slow down but I could easily have made a top ten list here and maybe even stretched it into a top twenty.  April kind of slows slightly but there’s still plenty of amazing stuff coming out.

As side notes, I’ll also be looking at games that have confirmed launch dates for retail. It generally takes about 8 to 12 weeks to press a disc for retail and if you still don’t have a concrete date for your release at this point then you’re probably waiting for the holiday season.  However, this doesn’t apply to XBLA, PSN and WiiWare so there’s a few downloadable titles that I took under consideration although in the end none of them made the list (mainly Super Meat Boy sounds like it will be Q3 afterall.)

5. FLIP’S TWISTED WORLD for Nintendo Wii

Flip

It may have a stupid name for the “stupid kid” console which means it will die at retail but it has music by Tommy Talarico (Shiny Earthworm Jim fame) and it seems very much influenced by Super Mario Galaxy….who’s sequel comes out only a few weeks after Twisted World and will continue the burial. Kids do you want Flip’s Twisted World or Mario?  Yeah, this is so going to die.  Good news is you’ll hopefully find a $20 copy come September.

Flip’s a little magician apprentice who gets bored one day and mucks with things he shouldn’t and gets sucked into this prism with a whole bunch of monsters. Standard fair until you realize the chief mechanic revolves around twisted the world around Flip to get from point A to B. By pressing the Wii’s B trigger underneath the remote you’ll be able to rotate the world around Flip and in the process bottomless pits you couldn’t cross only seconds ago are now pathways; odd looking floating platforms are now accessible and your new ticket out of the level. But yeah, watch out for gravity — Flip can still go splat so make sure there will be something underneath him before you rotate.

It’s very much like the indie game And Yet It Moves which I suggest you check out.  There’s also a Swedish (I think) browser game similar to it but I may just be making that up as Google isn’t turning up anything.  Most people will probably go get Mario Galaxy 2 in May, but if you see Flip and you’ve got some money throw it Majesco’s way — it looks like an entertaining and interesting platformer.  And hell, go throw the guys who made And Yet It Moves $10 for their game. 

4. RED DEAD DEPEMPTION on the Playstation 3, X-Box 360

If this gets delayed I wouldn’t be shocked. Seems like we’ve been waiting for Rock Star’s GTA-in-the-wild-west game forever. I’m not the biggest fan of the open-world genre.  Usually if you give me way too much to do at the same time I get overwhelmed and don’t do any of it.  Also there’s too many opportunities to attempt to break the game and the game’s narrative. Open-world games walk a tricky tightrope always and they tend to fail more than they succeed.

We’ll see how Just Cause 2 does.  I didn’t want to put it on yesterday’s list as I’ve only played the demo and I’m slightly worried about how long the grappling hook gimmick can actually hold my attention, but man if it ever got me excited the first couple times I did it.  Red Dead redemption unfortunately doesn’t have a grappling hook but the Wild West could prove to be a better hook for me. There hasn’t been enough games set in the West. Sunset Riders, Call of Juarez and uhm….yeah. Lead and Gold comes out April 8th. There’s a handful of others including this game’s predecessor and a PC game I’m blanking on that I really really really liked.

This is kind of a game I’ve been dreaming of for a long time now.  I’ve always wanted to be a gunslinger in the lawless west, shootouts, exploring for gold, sitting down at the saloon, bringing punks to justice, robbing trains, ect. It’s either going to be a hell of a lot of fun, or a janky mess.

3. METAL GEAR SOLID: PEACE WALKER for Playstation Portable

Well it is Metal Gear and it was once intended to be Metal Gear Solid 5.  And the fact that Hideo Kojima is at the helm again should make everyone take notice. Yet I don’t quite understand the decision to put this on the PSP.  Yes I’m always happy to have more software to buy on my PSP and Naked Snake’s adventures have primarily been on the PSP (Portable Opts) but good job limiting the audience of MGS5 folks. You think this will sell PSPs? Well they do have a bundle and I’m sure it will but MGS isn’t really the system moving killer-app Sony seems to believe it is.

I was pretty much done with Metal Gear once the curtains fell on MGS4.  That was a fitting enough ending, but something about the trailers and demo for Peace Walker gets me excited and worked up for whatever insane and non-senseical adventure Kojima has in store for us. It gives me hope that this may some how open up the door for the real MGS5 and I realize I’m not done with the Snakes just yet.

2. MOD NATION RACERS for Playstation 3, Playstation Portable

Outside their belief that 3-D is the next big graphical step and that mature adults really give two shits about it, I really think Sony has started to hit on all cylinders.  They’ve taken taken home my coveted Game of the Year award the past two years (Valkyria Chronicles in 2008; Demon’s Souls in 2009) and their exclusive library just keeps getting more and more interesting. And I’m really impressed by Playstation Move at the moment and unless NATAL steps up the game then it’s just going to be crushed.  And can’t forget the Kevin Butler, Head of Everything commercials. Those things are brilliant on so many levels and if Kevin Butler doesn’t lead Sony’s press conference at E3 then I’m going to be disappointed.  Sorry Mr. Tretton I don’t want to hear you read off numbers and Kaz-san there embarrass himself.

But back to Modnation Racers — this thing just looks cool and fun and exactly what Sony seems to be going for.  It’s cute without being overly cute. The Beta’s been a blast to play and features LittleBigPlanet‘s mantra of simple but deep customization.  And you can build your own damn tracks and it’s not confusing! HORRAY FOR MAKING THINGS NOT CONFUSING. I hate to say it but it’s Mario Kart meets LBP and it’s just amazingly tight. It feels better than anything Mario Kart has put out.

Blur looks good and might even wind up being great, but Blur’s real car licenses might be enough to intimidate some casual gamers. The cartoony look of ModNation Racers should ensure it to be a hit with your significant other or when you have other people over.

1. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV for Playstation 3, X-Box 360

Let’s just get this one out of the way as this was a no brainer.  You’re going to give me 35 characters (including some from my beloved 3rd Strike, Cody and a brand NEW awesome character named Hakan), a rebalanced system, new moves and ultras, bonus stages, new costumes and a crap ton more for only $40? Capcom I LOVE YOU.

Yeah kids are going to whine “why wasn’t this DLC” but shut up, if you weren’t there to notice the huge differences that came between Capcom’s seminal Street Fighter II and Street Fighter 3 updates then you have no idea.  Look at just the jump from New Challengers to Turbo, how much that changed the way we played the game. This IS a brand new game and you can’t simply add all of that content via download and expect it to work the same as it will here. That is a substantial update and you’re lucky to be getting it for only $40.  Capcom had no problems charging full retail for the home updates of this stuff before.  And this is probably even bigger than any update they did to SFII.

I could have done without T-Hawk, DeeJay, and probably Ibuki (C Viper I think potentially renders her redundant in a way) and I’m worried how the 3rd Strike characters (Ibuki, Dudley and Makoto) will play without the Parry system, but all the other additions are spot on and both Juri and Hakan look like interesting additions to the mythos and cast. I for one can’t wait to break out the fight sticks for this one.  That is until I go online and face an endless barrage of Kens….

HONORABLE MENTIONS GO TO: Alpha Protocal, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: The Other M, Puzzle Quest 2, Fez, Arc Rise Fantasia, Naughty Bear, RUSE, Picross 3D, 3D Dot Game HEroes, Blur, UFC Undisputed 2010, Lead and Gold, Monster Hunter Tri, Neir

03/27/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment