April 18th to 24th

After owning Jade Empire for a mere four days I finished it Sunday night with around 24 hours of play under my belt. Finishing a game that quickly is almost unheard of for me, Jade Empire was really quite good. ItÂ's like Bioware distilled everything they do well into a tightly focused RPG and cut out anything that would take time away from the combat, quests or the plot. Sure, you manage gems and techniques but itÂ's nothing compared to shuffling potions, armor, weapons, quest items and other sundry bits in BaldurÂ's Gate 2. ThatÂ's one reason I finished the game so quickly, the other reason is that itÂ's really bloody easy. By the start of the second chapter (about two hours in) IÂ'd upped the combat difficulty to Grand Master (hardest) and still I rarely died or felt much pressure. I donÂ't know if it was the martial combat and support styles I was using but damn, even the bosses gave me no trouble. Anyways, our Game of the Week is Psychonauts for the Xbox and PC. It ships on Tuesday for $49.99 (Xbox) and $29.99 (PC).

On DVD this week we have House of Flying Daggers, Meet The Fockers and more!

PC:
Stronghold 2 (04/18)
Close Combat: First to Fight (04/18)
Laser Squad Nemesis (04/18)
Stolen (04/19)
Psychonauts (04/19)
Delta Force: Xtreme (04/19)

PS2:
Stolen (04/19)
Ford Mustang: The Legend Lives (04/19)

Xbox:
Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict (04/18)
Stolen (04/19)
Psychonauts (04/19)
Ford Mustang: The Legend Lives (04/19)
WWE WrestleMania 21 (04/20)

Gameboy Advance:
Pac-Man Pinball Advance (04/19)
Killer 3D Pool (04/19)
Scrabble Blast (04/19)
Hugo: The Evil Mirror (04/20)
Popeye: Rush for Spinach (04/20)

DS:
Polarium (04/18)

PSP:
ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails (04/19)
Smart Bomb (04/19)

Comments

Anyone find it odd this current trend of pricing PC games anywhere from $15 to $20 cheaper than its console version? I'm assuming PC sales are getting so bad for everything but AAA titles that Pubs are now forced to price new releases as budget titles?

Laser Squad Nemesis for $20?

Psychonauts for $30?

Stronghold 2 for $40?

Have the publishers finally listened to the argument that games are too expensive?

Actually I've heard bad things about Psychonauts on the PC, so maybe that's why they lowered the price on that one

Still, I plan on picking up both of these, and Psychonauts when it's determined it's not buggy as hell or the XBox version price drops.

No Gamecube games at all out this week?

Stronghold 2 for $40 seems surprising to me. Since some friends around here live and die Empire Earth, I reserved Empire Earth II for the traditional $50. There's zero question in my mind that cheaper pricing would make me buy more games. I just mentally find it hard to justify spending $50 on a game.

Is anyone picking up Stronghold 2? I'm moderately interested in that one.

Has anyone heard anything about First to Fight? I remember it looking interesting many months ago but I haven't followed it closely or read much about it.

First to Fight is supposedly horrible. OXM gave it like a 2 or 3 something(out of 10). They rarely give stuff low scores like that.

I believe Laser Squad Nemesis has some sort of grotesque ongoing monthly/semi-annual/yearly pricing scheme, which would help to account for the lower upfront price.

I say this because it interested me, but I have (as usual) issues in paying an ongoing fee for a turn-based email game.

I say this because it interested me, but I have (as usual) issues in paying an ongoing fee for a turn-based email game.

I could definitely see that, however I plan on just playing the single player. For $20, I think the single player would be worth it, though I'm going to read a vew more reviews.

FYI, it comes with one free month online, I don't know how much a subscription is.

Is the single player game a "full fledged" game, or is it basically an extended tutorial for the online aspect of the game? If it does have a good sized single player game, then I will most definitely be buying it. I do so love my X-com games.

Yea, I know it's not X-Com, but it is close enough.

Begin Edit:

Well, this is what I get for being a skimmer.

Direct Quote from the site:

This North American retail version will include 20+ missions in 4 single campaigns, a free 3 month subscription to additional online campaigns and updates, as well as an extended and detailed print manual.

I'll probably be grabbing Unreal Championships later this week, demo kept me busy for a while... I'll also have to give Psychonauts a try.

Dramatic Marlin wrote:

Has anyone heard anything about First to Fight? I remember it looking interesting many months ago but I haven't followed it closely or read much about it.

I was completely bummed on what I had high hopes for. See thread:
http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/index....

I'm mildly excited for that Delta Force: Extreme game, especially at $20. I'm waiting for reviews to tell me the AI isn't completely retarded before I think about buying it though.

So does this mean I can borrow Jade Empire when I get back next week?

Thin_J wrote:

I'm mildly excited for that Delta Force: Extreme game, especially at $20. I'm waiting for reviews to tell me the AI isn't completely retarded before I think about buying it though.

If the AI code remains unchanged from the original Delta Force, then I can assure you that the AI will be completely retarded -- or, dare I say, Extremely so. However, Delta Force was quite novel for its time. When it was released in September of 1998, expansive 3D terrain was almost totally absent from the FPS scene, with the biggest exception being the exemplary (and in many respects as yet unrivaled) Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri by Looking Glass Studios. Starsiege: Tribes wasn't released until November, and even its enormous levels were nowhere near as detailed as the voxel terrain of Delta Force; nor was its emphasis on realistic combat.