Wallet Abuse Weekly really wishes he cleaned out the fridge before he left

Okay so that was more than a couple weeks off.

I forgot to account for two things. One: how absolutely fucking dire the Summer is for videogame releases and two: how much I love playing videogames. So while I should have told you all that Shadows of the Damned was coming out and you need to buy it I was-- well, I was playing Shadows of the Damned. And Metro: 2033. And Bayonetta. Again.

As weak as this Summer has been, its not like there’s an incredible amount of content this week, either. Four games are announced, and only two of them boxed releases. But for quality this week is sorta amazing and signals that the Summer doldrums are over. So I figured between this week’s slate of games and the increasingly desperate emails Brian has sent promising a pile of fabulous riches should I start writing WAW again (a 1975 AMC Gremlin, a box of Power Balance Power Bands, and a year’s supply of something called “Billy Gibbon’s Rock n’ Roll Gearhead Beard Relaxer) now was as good a time as any to return to Wallet Abuse.

Y’know, until Skyrim comes out. Then you people can get bent for at least three more months.

I want to apologize for the longer than expected hiatus, not only for the lack of content but also not informing you people of the few fine games you really should have bought while I was out. So while you should go out and buy at least 3/4ths of this week’s new releases, I’m also going to remind you all of the games you should should be deeply mortified for not owning already.

In unrelated news I’d like to throw in a kind word to my newest corporate sponsor, Citibank’s 24 Hour Consumer Credit Hotline, offering no-questions-asked instant credit every day of the week!

 


 


Deus Ex 2: Human Revolution
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

 

I still think its weird that it took over a decade to get a sequel to the transcendent Deus Ex-- we’re talking about a game with its roots in the Unreal 1 engine, when was the last time a successful, beloved game has had to wait that that long a wait for a sequel--

 

 

 

shutupshutupshutup!

I’ll be honest, I’m a bit leery about Human Revolution. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll buy the stupid thing the moment it’s unwrapped from its shipping cellophane; I’m just sorta worried that it might not actually be a good game. Or at least, not be able to live up to the legacy of the first Deus Ex.

This isn’t Warren Specter’s baby. Admittedly, after seeing his difficulties with Epic Mickey it may not have been such a bad idea to leave Human Revolution’s development to Jean-Francois Dugas-- but, I mean...

 

 

...I have to think we were better off with Specter.

Also for whatever reason a lot of people hated the E3 build. But sometimes games just don’t demo well and it seems people are in love with the leak that found its way to torrent sites a couple months back. Plus we’re seeing reviews online already and that’s usually a good sign.

Until I have reason to believe otherwiseI’m going to assume this thing won’t suck. But I also full well realize it’s impossible to live up to the original Deus Ex, which in retrospect was the only real crime committed by Invisible War.

If these guys can get Deus Ex right then Thief 4 should be fucking breathtaking. I desperately need this game to be good, but usually when I find myself saying that we wind up with something like Velvet Assassin.

GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT OVER THE SUMMER BROUGHT TO YOU BY CITIBANK 24 HOUR NO QUESTIONS ASKED INSTANT CREDIT LINE:

 


 

CATHERINE!

Okay yes, it feels as skeezy as any random loli JRPG published by Aksys over the past year, but if you look past the box art (and the pillowcase, and the official artwork, and the phone app, and the box art, and the--) it turns out this is a rather sophisticated game. Its an adult game, and I don’t mean that in the Custer’s Revenge sense, I mean in the “this is how relationships in the real world get fucked” sense. Yeah, its a sliding puzzle game, yeah we’re all disappointed that its not Persona HD, yeah it’s sort of weird that a large chunk of the UI is based on cheap cellphone UI, but a good game is always larger and better than the bits that go into making it.

I dislike the idea that games “deserve” to be bought. There’s little evidence that publishers actually pay attention to consumers, much less our specific hardcore niche. If we wanted to make a statement to the industry then we’d have been better off not buying LA Noire. So I’d prefer to say that Catherine deserves to be played on its own merits. The Metacritic score doesn’t lie on that-- reviewers typically don’t add stars for philosophical arguments.

 



Hamilton’s Great Adventure
Developer: FatShark
Publisher: FatShark
Platforms: PlayStation Network

 

Man, poor FatShark. I’m sure Hamilton’s Great Adventure is a decent enough game; it’s just a shame to see a plucky indie developer fucked over by a release schedule that includes Street Fighter III on the same we--

Wait a minute. FatShark. Why does that sound so familiar...

 


 

 

OH GOD. OH GOD FUCK THESE GUYS.

GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT OVER THE SUMMER BROUGHT TO YOU BY CITIBANK 24 HOUR NO QUESTIONS ASKED INSTANT CREDIT LINE:

 

 

 

BASTION I GUESS, I DUNNO

I’ll be honest, I’m kinda disappointedwith this year’s Summer of Arcade. There were no retro revivals like Marvel vs Capcom 2 in 2009 nor did anything capture my imagination like Braid from 2008. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet looked interesting but it’s hard to justify spending 1200 points on five hours of entertainment with close to zero replayability- I’m mentioning Bastion here simply by default of being this year’s SoA darling, although the next game on this week’s roundup is far more interesting than anything released on Xbox Live Arcade over these past five weeks.

 


Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade

 

This industry is fucking bizarre sometimes. I remember when Street Fighter III was supposed to be the savior of the fighting game genre and the arcade industry itself, Capcom invested tons of money and development into a brand new arcade board and a staggering amount of gorgiously animated 60-frames-per-second artwork to go along with it. Street Fighter III wasn’t just going to finally be the next Street Fighter, it was going to be a revolution in the way 2d games were made, a brave and valiant “fuck off” to polygons and transparent lighting and blurry textures and particle effects and all the other disgusting vagaries of the early 3d era.

Turns out no one cared. Not only was it Yet Another Goddamned Capcom Fighter, it was a decidedly n00b-unfriendly technical fighter running smack into the face of masher-friendly favorites like Soul Blade and Tekken. What’s worse, Capcom only included one original Street Fighter II cast member, and that was the most boring person on the entire SFII roster, Ryu.

Which was a shame, as it was a beautiful game, ran smooth as worn silk and featured some of Capcom’s most original character design. It was undoubtedly the finest 2d fighter of its era-- perhaps the best ever developed to date-- But it was too late. Capcom too too much time rehashing and refining Street Fighter 2. When it became obvious people cared more about the various vs Marvel series than they ever would SFIII, the project was shut down and the advanced hardware that housed it only received a scant four titles. For a long time it looked doubtful regular 1v1 Street Fighter would ever see the light of day again.

Now it’s a fifteen dollar downloadable release and the darling of the hardcore community. Funny how that sort of thing works out. I’m still not convinced there’s anything we can do to talk Capcom into re-releasing Darkstalkers or Street Fighter Alpha, but buy this game anyway. Like Catherine, SFIIIOE should not be a “statement” game, especially in light of the Mega Man Legends III fiasco.

And yeah, I’ve never heard of Iron Galaxy either, but at least it’s not Backbone. Everything we’ve seen so far indicates these guys have a real reverence for the source material.

GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT OVER THE SUMMER BROUGHT TO YOU BY CITIBANK 24 HOUR NO QUESTIONS ASKED INSTANT CREDIT LINE:

 

 

EL-SHADDAI

Speaking of pretty art game’s no one’s going to pay attention until fifteen years after its release...

I really wish I didn’t have to make the choice to buy El-Shaddai new or Human Revolution new, but one of these two games may well wind up being a cultural touchstone and its not going to be the one with lousy 3d jumping controls. Sorry Ignition, I badly want to buy this but your timing is shit.

 


Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

 

Shin Megami Tensi games annoy me in that they look exactly like Persona games, they apparently take place in the Persona universe, they share demons with Persona games, yet somehow they don’t actually have anything to do with Persona. Atlus badly needs to do a better job explaining this sort of thing, there’s probably a lot of Persona 3/4 fans who’d be interested in MegaTen as a franchise if the company would make any effort at all to explain what these other games are or how they’re tied into one another.

This specific game is a remake of the DS original Devil Survivor, leaving us all terribly disappointed that Atlus did not think of some clever way to call this the 3rd Devil Survivor. While it’s discouraging that this is yet another 3DS remake of a game that appeared on earlier Nintendo hardware, at least we’ve moved from the N64 to the DS-- Perhaps in another month or so we’ll see Motion Plus remakes for the system.

GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT OVER THE SUMMER BROUGHT TO YOU BY CITIBANK 24 HOUR NO QUESTIONS ASKED INSTANT CREDIT LINE:

 

 

SHADOWS OF THE DAMNED

I’ve made my disappointment with Shadows of the Damned clear, but that’s not to say you should steer clear of buying it-- Shadows is a worthy game, it just does not live up to its promise, and possibly would have been unable to even if Shinji Mikami were not involved. It is dumb violent fun with lots of blood and boobs and in that way Shadows is the sort of grindhouse movie game that Suda51 wanted to pull off all along. Just don’t ask too much of it. Also unsold copies are being used to level uneven store fixtures, so it’ll probably go down quicker than Fedor Emelianenko.

 


 

NEXT WEEK~!

Dr5v5r S5n Fr5nc5sc5 doesn't know it's not in a coma! Or something.

Madden: The Next One allows us to explore the comic potential that is the Carolina Panthers 2010 season ratings!

White Knight Chronicles 2’s very existence defies all laws of retail logic!