Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Games: So, I wrapped up my Outland (XBLA) review.
It should be up soon, but for the moment I can say that my final impressions were a lot less positive than my initial ones. In fact, I didn't even bother to finish it, and it's not a very long game. I totally love the art style, but the rest... well, you can read it for yourself later.
Games: In other negative news, the Brink embargo has now lifted.
I'm not reviewing the game myself (and I'm extremely glad for that) but I did get a chance to play a couple hours of it, and I didn't want to see anymore. There were a few good ideas on display, but for the most part the game looked like a terrible mess.
The first wave of reviews has come in, and although there are some high scores, a significant number of critics seem to feel the way I do. Buyer beware, I suppose.
Games: On a more positive note, I've been hopelessly devoted to Gladiator Begins on PSP for the last week or so and I just can't put it down. It's definitely a hard-core niche title and I see why it didn't go anywhere at retail, but a title like this is gold to me.
The player starts off by creating their own gladiator (male/female, all the various customization options, etc.) and then goes to work fighting in the arena. There are four different fighting styles (single sword, double sword, sword and shield, pugilist) and each comes with their own different special attacks and so on.
The real hook for me is that there’s a ridiculous number of weapons and armor in the game, and certain pieces can be customized to increase attack and defense, while decreasing weight. Equipping the proper gear (taking encumbrance into account) is hyper-addicting when combined with the options of the various fighting styles, and finding just the right setup is incredibly rewarding.
Gladiator Begins certainly isn't for everyone, but players who like tinkering with gear, experimenting with customization, or those who find Monster Hunter or making mechs in Armored Core to be an entertaining pastime might want to check it out.
Games: One of my most-anticipated games of the year, Catherine, has recently announced a slew of pre-order bonuses for those gamers who want to pony up for the deluxe version.
Apparently the "Love Is Over” version will be made-to-order (meaning that there won't be any extras left over if you don't speak up soon) and will come packaged in a cardboard pizza box which I assume ties into the game somehow. It also includes a pair of boxer shorts, a T-shirt, and a pillow case displaying the image of Catherine herself. If you don't want to pay for these bits, any pre-order for either the standard or deluxe version will receive a soundtrack CD and art book.
Get to it!
Comics: Free Comic Book Day happened last week, so I hope you all had a chance to get down to your local, shop and show your support while picking up a few free reads at the same time.
I ended up getting a stack of stuff myself... most of it was made up of my usual selections, but I did pick up Super Dinosaur, Atomic Robo, the Discovery Channel’s "Top Ten Deadliest Sharks”, Escape Goat, the two latest issues of Firebreather, and a pile of books for the kids. Good times.
TV: The wife and I just watched the third episode of Doctor Who’s season six (the pirate episode). For me, this was a pretty mediocre episode. There were a few plot holes and in general, I didn't think the scripting was very good.
While one shabby episode of any show wouldn't be enough to make me worry, the last two episodes weren’t any good -- and that's on top of the fact that I was fairly dissatisfied with most of season five. The string of subpar installments on a show I love is getting a little worrisome.
When I took part in recording the GameCritics Doctor Who podcast a while ago, I wasn't clear on which of the creative players (Davies and Moffatt) were responsible for which elements. At this point, I think it's a little easier to tell. Apparently, Davies was responsible for the parts that I liked and Moffatt (who's now running the show on his own) seems to be struggling to manage an entire season.
I sincerely hope that season six starts picking up and that Moffatt gets it together because it's really painful to watch episodes that are both full of holes and not very entertaining, to boot.