In terms of pure signal-to-noise ratio, this is one of the historically great weeks in videogame release history. Sure, there's only three retail releases but all three are worth purchasing for thier respective systems, one of which is an undeniable all-time classic, one a Japanese action game that we may one day speak of in the same reverence as Resident Evil 4, and the last at worst being Diablo III with Dialog. Even the XBLA/PSN release is decent, that being Double Fine's Trenched, the third and final game of Double Fine's foray into digital distribution following thier disasterous experience with Brutal Legend.
No theme this week; there's simply not enough material to make it interesting. If you're lucky enough to have a dad, call him.
Dungeon Siege III
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: The profitable, relevant division of SquareEnix
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
After a long string of dense, PC-esque, mostly broken WRPGs, it’s good to see Dungeon Siege herald the return of enjoyable, simple, and most importantly non-broken action role playing....waaaaaait a minute.
...okay so the Obsidian bade doesn't necessarily denote a complete disaster. As New Vegas prove, given a quality publisher to keep a steady hand on Obsidian during the development process you can reign in Obsidian's more destructive tendencies and avoid disasters like Alpha Protocol--
Maybe it’s not quite that bad. I played the demo and it turns out the Dungeon Siege formula is kinda hard to fuck up. Think of Dungeon Siege III as something like Diablo with good writing. Tons of loot, tons of slashing, tons of typically oustanding Obsidan dialog-- the only drawback was a framerate problem with the PS3 version in areas with lots of particle effects. If you simply must play Dungeon Siege III on a console, consider the 360 version the lead platform, but I saw nothing that was game breaking in either version.
Dungeon Siege III is probably going to be enormously enjoyable in co-op, and there’s not a lot of games like this anymore, considering they stopped making console Dungeons and Dragons games back in 2004.
Yup, sure is a shame about those DnD games. Anyway, buy Dungeon Siege III. It’s deeper than Torchlight, and actually designed to be played on a pad.
Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D
Publisher: Nintendo of America
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Look, Nintendo fans.
No, not you
That's better. Also, holy shit. Anyway look, I’m not going to yell at you for being hyped about a thirteen year old game. Really, I’m not. I spent most of last week convincing myself not to spend $50 on a high-res... Rez. But that's not the point. Aren’t you guys just the slightest bit concerned that the vast majority of Nintendo’s current and future 3DS output is based on recycled N64 content-- or older?
And maybe that's the reason why the mainstream is hesitant to buy the new handheld and not actually price or earthquakes or-- well okay maybe it really is mostly price and earthquakes, but still. I'm just saying that maybe Vinnie Caravella has a point. At some point Nintendo needs to start producing quality original content for this thing.
At least Ocarina of Time 3DS isn’t a Mario Kart situation; and I’m of the firm belief that it’s important to keep the very best games in the public mind by periodically updating and re-releasing those games for modern hardware. It wouldn’t quite work to leave Ocarina of Time sitting on Nintendo’s downloadable services; people don’t tend to pay attention to titles unless they’re on store shelves, and selling Ocarina of Time as a retail product cements it’s status as an all-time classic.
Early 3D Nintendo titles certainly benefit from premiering on the N64. You can update the textures on an N64 game, clean up the geometry a bit, and add particle effects and the game will still look decent nearly a decade and a half later. PlayStation 1 games? Not so much. It’s hard for Konami to retain the legacy for Metal Gear Solid 1 when they’d have to rewrite the game from the ground up to re-release it in 2011, which is why the MGS Collection for the PS3 will be remarkably incomplete.
This is a maddening aspect for us relapsed Sega fanboys. No one wants a retextured Panzer Dragoon Saga, and certainly no one still with fond memories of PDS wants the Sega of circa 2011 to rewrite the stupid thing. Meanwhile every relevant non-Metroid Nintendo game of note will enjoy a periodic re-release and stays fresh in the public mind. Even Starfox will get a turn at redemption in the very near future, and that poor series was once given to Rare.
Luckily Zelda is not in need of such redemption, nor much justification for purchase regardless of the game. I do have to wonder though if Nintendo saw the reaction to Spirit Tracks and decided the best course of action for handheld Zelda games was to visit the back catalog.
Shadows of the DAMNED
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Okay. If you’re into goofy Japanese shit, you’re going to like this. Remember Killer 7? The No More Heroes games? The Samurai Champloo game for the PS2?
Suda 51 was the guy responsible for all of those games, and he’s the director for Shadows of the Damned. Now the only problem is, while Suda is very good at producing trippy headfucks with tons of style
He’s not terribly good at making a compelling videogame. But that’s okay, because Shadows of the Damned is also being produced by Shinji Mikami.
Vanquish. Viewtiful Joe. Motherfucking Resident Evil 4. God Hand.
...presumably the version we'll recieve in the United States will actually come in English.
It goes without saying that Shadows of the Damned is going to be one of the Best Things of Anything Ever in History, but where does it rank exactly? Here are my preliminary findings, subject to change once I actually, y’know. Play it.
*The University of Chapel Hill Men’s Basketball Program
*(probationary) Shadows of the Damned
*Pre-Sonic Heroes Sega
I’m happy with this list as without electricity then neither Bayonetta nor Shadows of the Damned would be possible. But if another energy source were made available, such as Atlantis power crystals then I’d be willing to move Bayonetta and Shadows into the top three. Again, this is before actually playing Shadows of the Damned, so there’s every possibility it can move up further in this list.
SUPER STREET FIGHTER FOUR ARCADE EDITION proves that Capcom never ever ever learns anything ever.
DYNASTY WARRIORS GUNDAM 3’s title alone is sort of amazing if you sit and think about it
RESIDENT EVIL REVELATIONS is all new and brings the series back from the brink of RE5. That may or may not mean it’s actually a good game.