April 28 - May 2

I am really quite grateful to Nintendo for having the fortitude to release the latest iteration of Mario Kart for the Wii this week, so that I don't have to give Game of the Week to GTA IV. I'm already pretty firmly on record for thinking that the GTA franchise is largely an abomination, not simply because it is an anti-social bloodbath, but mostly because it's just not a very good game. However, I concede that mine is not the majority opinion, and I really fault no one for being excited about the sequel. Who knows, perhaps this time I'll see what all the fuss is about.

But, nevermind that game; the truth is that Mario Kart is a release of equal importance and, from my point of view, far more capacity for sheer fun. Despite Nintendo's continued reliance of tried and true franchises, they've also managed to not lose the magic that made those franchises fun in the first place, and for multiplayer casual racing, it's just impossible to beat Mario Kart. Which is why it earns our Game of the Week.

On DVD this week, The Golden Compass and 27 Dresses. More here.

PC:
- Baseball Mogul 2009
- Iron Man

PS2:
- Iron Man
- SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1

PSP:
- Iron Man
- SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1

DS:
- Iron Man
- Brain Voyage
- Toy Shop

PS3:
- Iron Man
- Grand Theft Auto IV

Xbox 360:
- Iron Man
- Grand Theft Auto IV

Wii:
- Iron Man
- Mario Kart Wii

Comments

I am totally pumped about SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 even if I may be the only person on the planet.

If you don't think that GTA is a great game, that is fine, but it is a great game in the same way that Mario Kart is a great game. You just as well have made Mario Kart DS the game of the week.

I can hear the gnashing of teeth all the way from here!

Man, that's awesome. I was wondering in passing last night which game you'd pick for game of the week in order to avoid awarding it to GTA4.

If you don't think that GTA is a great game, that is fine, but it is a great game in the same way that Mario Kart is a great game.

Every time I get Princess Peach out of the Kart to shoot at hookers, I always forget how crappy Mario Kart's combat is!

Elysium wrote:
If you don't think that GTA is a great game, that is fine, but it is a great game in the same way that Mario Kart is a great game.

Every time I get Princess Peach out of the Kart to shoot at hookers, I always forget how crappy Mario Kart's combat is!

But what if peach were the hooker? hmmm... You know there just might be a market for that somewhere...

I found the Xbox 360 demo for Iron Man to be pretty fun, enough so to make me think about eventually picking it up. It looks good, the controls are well-designed (though switching between flying and hovering is a bit tricky), and playability is fine. If the rest of the game matches the quality of the demo, it's well worth considering.

Hans

The podcast in the coming weeks will be a nice change of pace everybody else praising the game and you guys complaining it's not a good game. I think GTA is a great series, not my favorite but great games. Im curious if it's the open world concept that you despise so much or other things, is there a open world game you like? Also id like to point out that if I had to play the GTA games on the PS2 I probably wouldn't like it very much I always played the PC version and the first time I tried the ps2 version I couldn't simple play it, the graphics the controls everything was much worse so I hope the PC version of GTA4 is on the way.

A game site that doesn't automatically sing the praises of GTA games like it's the second coming? I'm starting to like this place more and more.

I think that out of the podcast crew, it's mainly Elysium who dislikes the GTA series (correct me if I'm wrong). And I don't know how much you'll hear him complaining GTA4 itself is not a good game since it's clear he doesn't plan to play it.

Why is Mario leering at Luigi's crotch?

IMAGE(http://victawr.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/1196304637834.gif)

And I don't know how much you'll hear him complaining GTA4 itself is not a good game since it's clear he doesn't plan to play it.

Actually, following a recent e-mail we have all agreed to play it. I mean, hey! What if I'm wrong?

As to open sandbox games, I really liked Crackdown. I do think that creating an engaging open-world game is incredibly difficult, however.

aaaand so far my assertion has shown to be correct. *sniff*

Interesting Crackdown yay GTA nay, I think you could write a good article if you maintain the dislike for GTA after IV, comparing the experiences.

As for Mario Kart Wii this

http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=...

and this

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/20...

don't leave me anticipating the game very much.

Elysium wrote:

Actually, following a recent e-mail we have all agreed to play it. I mean, hey! What if I'm wrong?

As to open sandbox games, I really liked Crackdown. I do think that creating an engaging open-world game is incredibly difficult, however.

Color me surprised!

I think the problem of the GTA series, particularly the last one, was that they seemed to want to overcomplicate the gameplay in successive iterations. That's why I think that Vice City was superior to San Andreas; it's Grand Theft Auto, not Grand Theft Schwinn. Fortunately, it sounds like they've streamlined GTA4 and I'm looking forward to giving it a spin.

Mario Kart is dead to me, but I'm sure millions will buy it and adore it, which is fine. As for GTA IV, It'll be the first GTA game I've ever wanted to like, and the first Rockstar game I've ever purchased on release.

I want to like GTA. But unfortunately they have this thing about PC releases that makes me bitter and jaded.

boogle wrote:

I want to like GTA. But unfortunately they have this thing about PC releases that makes me bitter and jaded.

I don't own a 360 or a PS3. I don't need to be bitter or jaded, just patient I guess.

Not that I'm not bitter and jaded mind you. I just don't need to be.

Easy win for Mario Kart in my house.

LilCodger wrote:
boogle wrote:

I want to like GTA. But unfortunately they have this thing about PC releases that makes me bitter and jaded.

I don't own a 360 or a PS3. I don't need to be bitter or jaded, just patient I guess.

Not that I'm not bitter and jaded mind you. I just don't need to be.

Easy win for Mario Kart in my house.

I know. Its not that I need to play GTA this week, its that they should concurrent release to the PC. If I want to blow money on graphics cards and overclock and all that other jazz, at least you could have concurrent releases.

Elysium wrote:

A BLIGHT ON THE INDUSTRY!

Gotta car-jack them all!

Heh...I am renting GTA 4, mainly because I have never actually finished one of these sandbox games. I find them intriguing, for a while, then tend to drop them when something new and shiny comes along.

That said, I look forward to the day when Certis will come in and tell you just how wrong you are on this Elysium. It will be soon. The last podcast had your guest saying that "as gamers, we have to play Grand Theft Auto 4". I think that is correct.

It's more of a gaming milestone, a cultural marker, than a game. Who cares if it is any good or not?

Game critics, religious proselytizers, politicos, empty headed pudits, and even those that have never played games will all have an opinion on this game, and as a result our hobby.

So while I applaud your position on Mario Kart, I have to say that that game is a throw away as far as the history of our hobby is concerned. The ability to turn the Wii controller into a steering wheel hardly counts as anything epic or important other than another excuse for Nintendo to milk another SKU out of their Mario franchise while selling you an add on noone needs.

The game of the week should be GTA 4. There are just times when personal opinion has to bow to the demands of history.

I officially worship at the altar of Elysium.

I don't abide backlash against hugely popular games, but I certainly enjoy hearing someone I respect mirror my own impressions of a game. I readily admit that I don't "get" GTA games. I've tried and I am simply unable to enjoy them. Mario Kart on the other hand is the opposite. I try to "just play" and I inevitably find myself smiling almost immediately. When I first put Mario Kart in today, I was playing the level with the "bouncing mushrooms" and I actually exclaimed in sheer joy as I bounced along. it was completely unintentional and I almost startled myself with the sound. I've never had an experience even remotely like that with GTA. Perhaps thats not the point of GTA, but for me, that's one of the biggest reasons I game.

Gun is one of my favorite open world games. Granted, the world isn't that big, and the game has a couple technical issues, but nothing as bad as the targeting in GTA. I'd rather play a next-gen Gun than a next-gen GTA. I don't want to play Mario Kart at all, but that's just me.

Guess who was online just after midnight playing GTA IV? Why, was that Elysium? Yes. It. Was.

From raw derision to midnight opening in less than a day. That's gotta be a record.

Standing in line with tears streaming down his face, driving home by the back roads with his lights off, and thinking, just before he puts in the disc, "Please red ring on me, I don't want to play this, I don't want to become this ..."

Sean "Nico" Sands.

*golf clap*

Guess who was online just after midnight playing GTA IV? Why, was that Elysium? Yes. It. Was.

From raw derision to midnight opening in less than a day. That's gotta be a record.

I noticed that too

That'll show em Elysium. That'll show em.

I was meeting the mandate of the podcast. I suppose I could've waited to be cussed at in Russian until my four year-old was sitting next to me, but I was hoping the profanity and screams might haunt his tiny dreams. Like it did mine.