Summer Games

I was planning to write an article that would have blown your mind but I found my own mind was blown by a crushing headache yesterday. Your own mind blowing will have to wait for another six months or so when I need to write due to Elysium's selfish need to "take a break" and "visit relatives" again. Selfish bastard. Anyways, I was doing some digging on what we can look forward to playing this summer and figured I'd better share with the class. We'll start with the PC and Xbox 360 games.

IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/images/california_games.png)

California Games, the king of summer games.

PC
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Prey
7/10

The demo was excellent and the full game has already been generating some good buzz. I'm still worried about the campaign length but we'll have to wait and see.

The Ship
7/11

A multiplayer mod using Valve's source engine. Lots of discussion about it here.

Total War: Eras Collector's Edition
7/18

A big, fat Total War compilation set. Shogun: Total War, Medieval: Total War, Rome: Total War and the official expansions – Mongol Invasion, Viking Invasion, and Barbarian Invasion.

CivCity: Rome
7/24

A deadly mix of Civilization, Sim City and the Roman Empire. I wonder what else I could tell you that the game title already does? It's in English. There.

Civilization IV: Warlord
7/24

It's time to go to war, this Civ IV expansion is all about the new warlord unit.

Dungeon Siege II: Broken World
8/1

The series must be selling well enough to justify the expansions, but I can't say I managed to finish the main game.

Mage Knight: Apocalypse
8/1

I played some of this at E3 and I can't say the combat felt very smooth, this is important for a 3rd person action RPG.

Timeshift
8/1

An FPS with a time slowing/stopping feature. There was a demo, but it didn't run very well on my machine.

Madden NFL 07

8/22

"If you want to win the game, you've got to score more touchdowns!" Thanks John.

Xbox 360
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Prey
7/10

The demo was excellent and the full game has already been generating some good buzz. I'm still worried about the campaign length but we'll have to wait and see.

Chromehounds

7/11

I don't know what to make of this one. On paper it has a good deal of features to recommend it to any big, stompy robot sim fan. In practice, both at E3 and the recent Xbox 360 demo (Japan and Europe only) I haven't come away feeling like this was a fun game. I sill have high hopes.

NCAA Football 07
7/18

The college football series has always shown more willingness to innovate and improve over its older sibling Madden. The new focus on momentum makes me nervous however, I don't like seeing crappy players suddenly become superstars because things are going well.

Timeshift
8/1

An FPS with a time slowing/stopping feature. There was a demo, but it didn't run very well on my machine.

Dead Rising
8/8

I love killing zombies as much as the next man, but the lack of any coop features is a crime against what's left of humanity.

Ninety-Nine Nights
8/15

This is another big-scale, one person versus hundreds action title. It didn't do much for me at E3 but I know the genre has its fans.

Madden NFL 07
8/22

"If you want to do well on defense, you've got to tackle!" Very good, John.

Bomberman: Act Zero
8/29

Finally, Bomberman is going Xtreme.

Enchanted Arms
8/29

If you've been waiting for a JRPG for the 360, this would be a good place to look.

Saints Row
8/29

I've given this GTA clone a good deal of flack over the last couple years. but Volition is a good dev house and they may give us an experience equal to Rockstar's popular series.

Comments

Thanks. I had a headache, too, and that screenshot cleared it up.

Something I'm looking forward...

Prey
Chromehounds
Dead Rising
Ninety-Nine Nights
Enchanted Arms

California Games is still rad to this day. What was your favorite game Certis? I'd have to say either the Half-Pipe or the Frisbee Throw..

I'm not too pumped for anything on that list, but that's a good thing as my wallet is still recovering from a recent DS and cheap 360 game purchasing frenzy.

Prey - Weekend Rental.
The Ship - Preordered and Loaded!
Chromehounds - Maybe, just maybe. I'm going to wait for the Goodjer mass reaction to this one.
Dead Rising - Day one, lack of multiplayer makes me sad inside.
Saint's Row - If it's as fun as they say it is, I could forgive the whole "urban" thing.
99 Nights - Bargain bin fun!

California Games is still rad to this day. What was your favorite game Certis? I'd have to say either the Half-Pipe or the Frisbee Throw..

Hmm... I'd have to give it up to the BMX bike event, surfing and hacky sac. I LOVED that game, we played the hell out of it when I was a kid and we were always discovering new moves in surfing that indicated way more depth than you might have thought.

I went to a play my friend was putting on a few months ago and carpooled with some other folks. I was stunned to learn the lady in the passenger seat had worked on California Games oh so long ago. She mentioned hackysack specifically but I think she had a hand in a lot of the game. That was pretty sweet.

The Surfing game in California Games was easily the most fun, but we used to play the BMX one a lot too. Hackysack was our third most played, but I was always pretty awful at that one.

Ah, memories.

I'm looking forward to Prey, and I'm still interested in Chromehounds but also still not sold on it. I pretty much can't play multiplayer because of scheduling with the other folks around here, so the game would have to stand pretty strongly on just the singleplayer aspect. Somehow, I don't think that's going to happen.

I remember playing California Games on the Atari Lynx - it looked about the same as my Sega Master System version. I used to love playing the Frisbee game with my brother, and the roller skating was pretty challenging. Footbag was cool for the combos that you could do.

As far as Prey goes, I am quite addicted to the demo - I don't remember playing this much of a demo since Unreal Tournament (the original 1999 one). I'm definitely going to try to get it when it comes out, if I can find enough old games to trade in

I remember going to the local video store one day in my youth and seeing a copy of California Games, and passing it up for Bases Loaded 3. Frankly, i'm not that sad about the decision, that summer I also discovered Tecmo World Cup (Captain Tsubasa) and Baseball Simulator 1.000, which made my freaking year.

I really don't get all the decrying against Dead Rising over the lack of co-op play. I see it all over the place.

It's Grand Theft Auto. In a mall. Filled with zombies.

Are we going to see the gaming press lament the lack of co-op in Grand Theft Auto 4 even close to as much as I've read about it for Dead Rising?

We didn't have California Games, we played the original Summer Games on the Atari 800. It had a brutal long-distance race which meant you sat there for around 10 minutes just jerking your joystick from side-to-side.

It's Grand Theft Auto. In a mall. Filled with zombies.

No, the variety of things to do begins and ends with zombie killing in a mall and how you go about doing that. I think you might also snap a few pictures.

This game NEEDS coop play, it may not have enough to it to have a good time playing alone for eight hours.

Actually, from what I've read... Zombie killing is not limited to the mall area. So you can hang around town a bit... and according to this picture, you can drive a car!

Farscry wrote:

I really don't get all the decrying against Dead Rising over the lack of co-op play. I see it all over the place.

It's Grand Theft Auto. In a mall. Filled with zombies.

Are we going to see the gaming press lament the lack of co-op in Grand Theft Auto 4 even close to as much as I've read about it for Dead Rising? :?

I'd say it's more of a "State of Emergency," but with zombies instead of rioters and riot cops.

Certis wrote:
It's Grand Theft Auto. In a mall. Filled with zombies.

No, the variety of things to do begins and ends with zombie killing in a mall and how you go about doing that. I think you might also snap a few pictures.
This game NEEDS coop play, it may not have enough to it to have a good time playing alone for eight hours.

The coverage that I've seen and heard tends to cast the zombies more as obstacles in the game rather than the sole point of the game itself, with many different objectives and missions, some time sensitive, some happening simultaneously, some more standard "go here to start mission" style. I'm trying to stay optimistic but I'm afraid it's going to turn out like the first State of Emergency game, pretty to look at and fun for the first fifteen minutes until you've played through the same three mission types twenty times. We'll see.

Well, obviously some of you disagree with my assessment, but all the previews lately I read about the full game, and the variety of missions, objectives, achievements, etc as well as the multiple endings (and the story-related missions) really gives me that GTA 3 vibe.

Obviously, co-op would be way, way beyond awesome with this game, but I just never expected it.

I still don't see how it's more like State of Emergency than GTA as far as the structure of the game goes.

Thank God. I need games for my 360.