January Releases

It’s the new year and what a year it’s going to be for gaming! The excitement starts this month and hopefully the momentum carries us through the year. Let’s get to the list:

Xbox 360 banner

Week of January 4th
Bayonetta– I’m torn on Bayonetta. On one hand, it looks beautiful and wicked stylish. On the other hand, I’ve never gotten into the stylized-action-game like Devil May Cry or God of War. Maybe it’s time to try.
Darksiders– In a month loaded with triple-A titles, I’m worried I’ll never get around to playing this, but I am definitely intrigued.
Divinity II: Ego Draconis– I didn’t even know there was a Divinity I. Anyone have any info on this game?

Week of January 11th
Vancouver 2010 – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Winter Games– Gotta fit this game in somewhere I guess.
Army of Two: The 40th Day– Another one I’ll probably end up passing, but I wonder what I’ll be missing.

Week of January 18th
Dark Void

Week of January 25th
Mass Effect 2– There it is. This should do just fine to tide me over for quite some time. At least until February. I hope it doesn’t take me two years to finish this one.

Wii banner

Week of January 4th
My Fitness Coach 2 Workout and Nutrition

Week of January 11th
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces
Crazy Chicken Tales
Walk It Out
Sleepover Party– Walk It Out? Sleepover Party? Have you Wii game makers have no shame?

Week of January 18th
Fast Food Panic
Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection

Week of January 25th
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Tatsunoko VS Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Nintendo DS banner

Week of January 4th
Fast Food Panic
Learn Chess

Week of January 11th
Daniel X
Sands of Destruction

Week of January 18th
Glory of Heracles– This looks like a solid DS strategy game. Tempting…
Bejeweled Twist– Haven’t you milked us enough already, Pop Cap?
KORG DS-10 Plus

Week of January 25th
Quad Kings
Personal Fitness Women
Legend of Kay

PC banner

Week of January 4th
Divinity II: Ego Draconis

Week of January 11th
The Sims 2: Fun with Pets Collection– Looks like the Sims 2 will not die.
Insecticide
Two Worlds

Week of January 18th
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventure
Dark Void
The Tudors

Week of January 25th
Hotel Giant 2
Mass Effect 2
Alcatraz

PS3 banner

Week of January 4th
Bayonetta– See above.
Darksiders– Ditto.

Week of January 11th
Darksiders
Army of Two: The 40th Day

Week of January 18th
Dark Void

Week of January 25th
MAG

PSP banner

Week of January 11th
Army of Two: The 40th Day

Week of January 18th
Shepherd’s Crossing
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Week of January 25th
TNA: Cross The Line
Shadow of Destiny

Not a bad way to start the year off. While I think I’ll be grabbing Mass Effect 2, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy. What are you picking up?

(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. Itís appreciated.)

FGotY 2009 [Nintendo DS]

Next up on the Fun Games of the Year 2009 is the Nintendo DS.

Brock – This is a tough one. We’ve had several great games on the DS this year with Nostalgia being my pick for old-school JRPG fun, Rhythm Heaven for silly minigame fun and Retro Game Challenge for just oozing charm and respect for a bygone era. That said, I’ll have to play it safe and go with my current love, The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for bringing a huge smile to my face as I toot-toot my way around Hyrule. It polishes the gameplay mechanics of Phantom Hourglass and does away with pretty much everything that was a negative with that title while layering on new items, fantastic music and the awesome fun that is pulling on the emergency brake every time you pull into station.

Jason O – The DS was another late year addition to our house and I think it has exposed that I’m not really much of a portable gamer. Yet the massive library means something has to be there for everyone. For me, the best DS game was Phantasy Star 0. If I were reviewing it on a traditional scale it probably would rate pretty mediocre, but I loved Phantasy Star Online, purchasing it both for the Dreamcast and later the Gamecube. This is essentially Phantasy Star Online for the DS. What really has made the game appeal to me is that it’s a real RPG with just enough Japanese styling to not get in the way but maintain visual appeal. That and the gameplay is essentially Phantasy Star Online right down to the control scheme.

JamesDragonball Z: Attack of the Sayajins: If you ever wanted to play a Final Fantasy game with other characters from a different series like…Dragonball Z then this is your game. I like The Final Fantasy series and having the characters and moves from the Dragonball Z series makes the game all that more enjoyable for me.

Nat – Hearkening all the way back to January, I was introduced to Big Bang Mini. It’s unique style of SHMUP play and catchy music propelled it to the funnest game I played on the DS this year. It’s the only title I know of that is challenging and relaxing. Retro Game Challenge gets props for bringing a huge nostalgic smile to my face.

Will – My Nintendo DS doesn’t get as much attention as I would like to give it, likely due to the fact that I don’t leave the house very often. As a result, the only three games I played that are eligible for the FGotY 2009 [Nintendo DS] are Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure, Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars and Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (The Director’s Cut). I give the award to Henry Hatsworth because of its blend of platforming and puzzle elements. The platforming sections can be pretty brutal, and switching to the puzzle section gives both a much needed break from the action and useful powerups to take on all the enemies you will face.

Tony – I purchased one new DS game this year, Fire Emblem: Dragon Sword. I had liked previous iterations of the Fire Emblem but had my issues with this game. I hope to explore those issues in a future post, but for now I’ll declare Fire Emblem my FGotY for the Nintendo DS by virtue of it being the only one that qualifies.

Treasure Hunting, DS Style (Today’s Link)

[We’re going to try and roll out some regularly scheduled content. This is some of that content]

My “Today’s Link” posts will be highlighting something from another blog or site that caught my eye. Think of it as “the best thing I saw all day” kind of a post.

Today’s link is about a Nintendo DS game called Treasure World, which I first read about at Offworld.

I can’t speak with authority about this game, as I don’t own it (yet) but the gist of it is this: You “explore” with your DS, looking for WiFi hot-spots, which are “Stars” from where your DS collects “Star Dust” that you can trade in for treasures.

That probably doesn’t make sense. Here’s a quote from the Offworld post:

Here’s the storybook premise: a Star Sweep — he’s the beardy one whose facial hair not coincidentally is teased into the shape of a star — crash-lands onto Earth alongside his robo-sidekick the Wish Finder. In order to get the necessary fuel to re-power Halley, his starship, he needs you to help him collect star dust. In return, he’ll trade you some of his vast collection of some 2500+ treasures, 20 star-dust-currency-units at a time.

How do you collect star-dust? By setting the Wish Finder to hunt for treasure by taking your DS out into the wild, where it can scan stars — stars here meaning the thousands of now-ubiquitous Wi-Fi signals that canvas and cloud every major metropolitan city. The DS catalogs every signal it runs across, and will, at times, also find its own special Treasure locked away in that star, above and beyond the ones you can purchase from the Hunter.

If a premise like this doesn’t warm your game-loving heart, you are DEAD INSIDE. But it doesn’t end there, it’s actually just beginning. Read the entire Offworld article to see how collecting treasures will eventually lead you to composing music that others can listen to — online. This game is going to be insane.

I can’t wait to pick it up.

Preview – Lux Pain [DS]

Lux-Pain
Lux Pain

Genre: Adventure
Website: Lux Pain
Developer: Ignition Entertainment
Release Date: March 24, 2009
Buy it from Amazon

Preview:

So what is Lux Pain? Lux Pain is an adventure game on the Nintendo DS that takes place in Kisaragi City where something is going terribly wrong. Worms born of hate are infecting people, causing them to do hateful things. You play Atsuki, looking to avenge your parents, who were on the receiving end of said hateful things.

That might sound like your typical game set-up, but Lux Pain is more than that. The game uses the DS touch screen in some pretty interesting ways to interact with the game, including dissecting these terrible brain worms. Sounds delightful. Here’s a partial list of the game play:

  • Investigate your surroundings and gather hints by conversing with characters in the game
  • Use your Psychic Powers to save potential victims from Silent Worms.
  • Explore the massive world of Kisaragi City
  • Use your stylus to:
  • Conduct autopsies of Silent worms found throughout the game
  • Find parasites before they reach the heart of the victim
  • Examine various items you encounter along your journey such as buildings and objects

I’ve posted some images and screenshots on Flickr. You can see the trailer video after the jump.

Brock will be providing us a review. Look for it soon.
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In My Portable Hands

We’re lousy with games around here lately!