Archives for May 2010

Video Game Power Rankings #5

It’s the post-Holiday VGPR:

1. (2) Red Dead Redemption – Besides watching all the hilarious glitch videos, I still haven’t tasted the sweet western nectar that Rockstar has evidently squeezed out of this game. From chats with Nat and other friends, I will be picking this up shortly. The fact that it’s readily available to me here in the states is not a luxury our gaming brethren over the pond have enjoyed. I’d say that’s as ringing an endorsement as you could get.

2. (-) Blur – Has hit the shelves and is getting mostly good reviews (except for IGN, who by giving it a “7” have basically said it’s terrible, what with their scale of 7-10) but has been, until this week, absent from the rankings. Penny Arcade says it may difficult to put down. If you have it, do you agree?

3. (3) Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Yes, it boasts no groundbreaking innovations or changes from the first game, but who cares?! This game is awesome.

4. (-) Alpha Protocol – This pains me to do this, but just one day ahead of its release Alpha Protocol makes its return to the rankings for all the wrong reasons. It is getting absolutely skewered by the gaming press in their reviews. Destructoid was particulary brutal. Joystiq calls it a “technical nightmare.”

5. (-) Split/Second – On the strength of the Beta reaction for Blur, Split/Second wasn’t going to stand pat and they challenged Blur from the get-go, dropping its price by twenty bucks to go head-to-head with the release of Blur.

6. (1) Steam on the Mac – I’m still playing Torchlight on my Mac, so I have to keep Steam on the list.

7. (6) Mass Effect 2 – Mass Effect stays in the rankings due to the news that Legendary Pictures has picked up its rights

8. (-) Back Breaker – The first football game since All-Pro Football 2K8 came out, Back Breaker has a lot of work to do to break into the Madden-ruled football game arena. Bill Harris Breaks. It. Down.

9. (-) Killzone 3 – I feel like the Power Rankings have been mostly PS3-free, which has never been my intention. To remedy that, I figure Killzone 3 is as good a place to start as any, seeing how the new screen shots are popping up everywhere.

10. (-) Enslaved – Rounding out the top ten is Enslaved, a new game from Ninja Theory. I read the phrase “Post-Apocalyptic New York City” and had to find out more.

Honorable Mention: Knights Contract, Crackdown 2.

Dropped out: The Prince of Persia, Pac-Man Anniversary, EA’s Online Pass, Guild Wars 2, Alan Wake, and (gasp!) Halo Reach.

In My Hands

It’s actually been in my hands since Saturday, I’m just now having time to actually post this. So far, so FUN.

Weekend Gaming

It’s been too long since we’ve done one of these, but with a holiday weekend ahead of us and a bunch of good games out there, I’m wondering what games you’ll be playing this long, wonderful weekend.

Me, I am very close to finishing up the single player campaign in Splinter Cell. After that, I’d love to hook up with some buttonmashers to give the co-op missions a try. I’ve heard they’re great. I also would like to wrap up Mass Effect 2, which is just sitting there, eyeing me, waiting to be finished. Oh, and there’s a new Mario game, too. The kids have been anxiously awaiting this game (and by kids, I mean me and my kids). I’ll be picking it up sometime this weekend.

What are you playing?

How Much Is Uncharted 2 Worth?

I was able to score Uncharted 2 for $11 new. Having not finished the first, but hearing good things about this one, is that a good deal?

Video Game Power Rankings #4

Let’s get right down to business:

1. (2) Steam on the Mac – As Nat mentioned, this should have been #1 last week, so in a face-saving manuever, I’m ranking Steam on the Mac as the #1 Video Game story this past week. It’s been great, but to be far it isn’t all roses. (FWIW, I’ve had the same issue with Steam locking up because it thinks a game is running, forcing me to force a shutdown. I hope this is an isolated incident). And I don’t know if it’s related, but Torchlight sales have surpassed 500k.

2. (-) Red Dead Redemption – Red Dead Redemption probably has a legitimate gripe with being #2. Everyone (and I really mean everyone) is talking about it. From its sprawling game world to disgusting hilarious achievements, this game looks to have it all.

3. (4) Super Mario Galaxy 2 – The unwashed masses didn’t get to play it until yesterday, but that hasn’t stopped everyone from talking about how great this game is. Mine should be in hand sooner rather than later.

4. (-) The Prince of Persia
– With a movie coming out later this week, the Prince of Persia is a rather popular topic. Maybe you fancy a new PoP game? Perhaps a Flash game in your browser? Maybe something a little old school? Prince of Persia never met a platform it didn’t want to release a port of its seminal platformer. (I still play my Gameboy Color Prince of Persia on my GBA SP)

5 (-) Pac Man Anniversary – This has been a week of anniversaries (Empire Strikes Back, among others) but the Google homage to Pac-Man was one of the best. Playable Pac-Man in a logo!

6. (-) Mass Effect 2 – ME2 missed the cut last week with the announcement of new DLC, but they make the list this week with the news that BioWare is going to bridge the gap between ME2 and 3 with DLC that will advance the story along. This sounds like a great idea, but I’m wary of the execution. We’ll see. There was also the title update that “optimized” the mineral scanning mini-game. This is just perfect timing — last time I played ME2 I spent a couple hours scanning planets and amassed probably more minerals than I’ll ever need. I could have used some optimized scanning.

7. (7) EA’s Online Pass – Not to be left out of the game, THQ is also going to follow the EA Online Pass model with it’s new ultimate fighter game, UFC Undisputed 2010. This is the new model. Get used to it.

8. (5) Guild Wars 2 – GW2 still holding down the fort on the list on the strength of this “Dynamic Events” post at the Guild Wars 2 site (via Tap Repeatedly).

9. (9) Alan Wake – Sorry, this is a cop-out. It’s late and dark outside and I want to go to bed, just like in the game. So it sticks around one more day.

10. (1) Halo Reach – I couldn’t let Halo Reach fall completely off the list, so I’ll mention that Halo Reach has a release date: September 14th.

Dropped out: Fallout: New Vegas and others.

Newspaper in Red Dead Redemption

There is a LOT to do in this game. One of the more interesting things is to read the daily newspapers being sold in the streets. Here is an announcement made in one of them:

The marriage is announced to be solemnized of Miss Mollie Brannigan, daughter of Cole and Ella Brannigan, to Mr Melvin Brannigan, son of Cole and Ella Brannigan

Good to see Rockstar has kept in some humor. Actually, this game is pretty humorous altogether.

Split/Second Is Not A $60 Game

With some credit and Sony points I’m glad I only paid about $30 for it. However, don’t read into that wrong. It is a fun game. It is a frustrating game. Think Mario Kart Wii frustrating. I’ve not seen rubber-band AI this bad since well into the early ’90s. That was the last century mind you.

I’ve played somewhere around 10-12 races and I’ve placed only twice–these are the first two races of the game. In the last 30 seconds of the race it’s Mario Kart Wii all over again. The only power up in the game is essentially a blue shell, but it’s also a shock when five cars whip around you at the end at the last split second. This is weird because I never experienced any of this in the demo, and one of the tracks was in the demo.

The boys love it (explosions–what’s not to love?), and play with other humans is pretty fun, but it’s going to take a while for the single-player game to grow on me. I just need to approach it differently.

Everything else? Impressive.

Tonight might be a Red Dead Redemption night. I need a little redemption.

Video Game Power Rankings #3

This one snuck up on me rather quickly. Last week was fairly quiet on the video game news front, at least from where I sit. So not a ton of movement on this week’s Power Rankings:

1. (1) Halo Reach – The Halo Reach Beta is quickly coming to a close. It seems like it was just yesterday people were coming to grips with how to use/fight Armor Lock and now the strategy and skill is starting to make itself apparent. Another playlist went live last week and I imagine the Xbox Live servers will be straining under the massive push to squeeze out those last few hours of the beta.

2. (-) Steam on the Mac – This has been a long time coming for a lot of people, but Steam went live for the Mac this past week and it brought much gaming happiness to the Apple masses. It has been tested by various Buttonmashers and it gets our seal of approval. (Or is that button mash of approval?)

3. (3) Fallout New Vegas – I never buy them, but I am always fascinated by expensive Collectors Editions. Fallout New Vegas doesn’t disappoint.

4. (-) Super Mario Galaxy 2 – It doesn’t come out for another week but Mario-nirvana is already starting reach the airwaves.

5. (5) Guild Wars 2 – This is more about Dungeons and Dragons Online and the original Guild Wars but has GW2 ramifications. NPD did its annual online gaming survey and found that DDO had overtaken GW as the game ex-WoW players turned to. This isn’t super surprising, but it will be interested to see how GW2 stacks up against DDO and other not-WoW MMOs. (Also, as a former EQ2 player, I was really surprised not to see EQ2 as a game WoW players turn to)

6. (6) Alpha Protocol – The say any publicity is good publicity (or something like that) and for a game about espionage, there sure seems to be some shady stuff going on behind the scenes at Sega with Alpha Protocol.

7. (-) EA’s Online Pass – My take is simple — Online Pass won’t effect me. I am one of those suckers who buys EA’s college football offering just about every year. Each year I think “this is going to be the year they get it right!” and promptly stop playing after the hundredth frustration rears its stupid head. That being said, I think Online Pass is a horrible idea and watching people try to justify it is just sad.

8. (-) Awesome Fan-made Street Fighter Short – is awesome (Yes, I know I’m like two weeks late with this one. Sue me):

9. (8) Alan Wake – Seems to have reviewed fairly positively. Garnett Lee seemed to like it, at least. Have you played it?

10. (-) New Assassin’s Creed – I’m not the AC go-to-guy around these parts, but I couldn’t help but notice the flurry of activity surrounding Ubisoft’s release of news about the new AC game.

Honorable Mention: The guy who kept Halo 2 alive longer than anyone cared.

Dropped out: Bungie/Activision, Infinity Ward/Activision, Ebert and games as art, Frozen Synapse, and The New New Super Mario. Success, she is so fleeting online.

PING: Bit.Trip.Runner

It must be video day today. Bit.Trip.Runner has finally been released on WiiWare for $8.

Some of us here are big fans of the Bit.Trip games.

PING: ModNation Racers Bringing Teh Phunny

Let’s just say it rhymes with Man Farizmo Jive!

This just came up on my radar for later this month. Three racing games released in two weeks. That’s just a little too intense.

My only fear is that we are seeing a lot of info around the game, not about it.

To much hair gel says what?