August 18 - August 22

I'll get to Too Human in a moment, but after more than a year of working on The Week Ahead I must say this is in many ways my least favorite part of the year. As a gamer, the flood of long awaited releases is a joy, but as a guy who is tasked with documenting those releases, it becomes something of a burden, as evidenced by this week's PC release list. Tis the season to flood shelves with half-baked games from Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm to the improbably named Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon. I always wonder who is buying these games, because even as a once retailer I would watch as these lonely boxes languished on the shelf until some point in February when I'd have to pack them all back up in a big box and ship them to points and destinies unknown.

I recall once sending 45 copies of Nexus: The Jupiter Incident back to the distribution center.

But, on to this week's game of the week, Too Human. I remain hopeful for a solid loot gathering experience with an entertaining enough story and action aplenty. I won't belabor how Too Human has become a gaming whipping boy, because that's all irrelevant now. It's time to put up or shut up, and Too Human will ultimately stand based on its ability to either silence critics or find a broad appeal. As for me, I'll be picking it up this week.

PC
- Adventure Anthology
- Murder in the Abbey
- Ford Racing Offroad
- Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm
- Sinking Island
- Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon
- Two Worlds Epic Edition

PSP
- Fading Shadows

DS
- Commando Steel Disaster

Xbox 360
- Smash Court Tennis 3
- Too Human

Comments

Count me in for Too Human as well.

Got it pre-ordered and I'm stoked to try some co-op tomorrow.

I actually have Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. Never finished it though.

tanstaafl wrote:

I actually have Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. Never finished it though.

Yeah, i suck at the game it just ramped up the difficulty really quickly and then i was done...

As for Too Human, i'm really looking forward to it but it's not coming out for another 11 days here... which is good because i have company for the next 10 days

Wow, week of adventure games on the PC.

tanstaafl wrote:

I actually have Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. Never finished it though.

I liked that game. I believe I bought it a year or so after release. It's one of the few games I bought based on "on box" advertising. Good game for 1 playthrough.

I'll be picking up too human, but I also have gift cards, so even if it's crap I don't lose. Based on the demo, I hope they smoothed out the controls and camera some (even though I know they didn't). I had such high hopes for this one...

EDIT

What happened to reviews being out BEFORE the game shipped? I can't find a one. It's a sad day when devs keep the "review hold" until release day - doesn't bode well for the confindence factor...

Anyway, I did find this when searching for "too human review"

CVG Report Card
Too Human
Developer: Silicon Knights
Publisher: Microsoft
1 Player Game
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release Date: 11.15.2006
Platform: Xbox 360

I'll be picking up Too Human as well. I enjoyed the demo, and am looking forward to some co-op goodness with some friends of mine.

I'll be checking Dracula 3 out. It's published by Microids, and after Syberia, I have enough goodwill and/or trust built up to give something else a try. Kheops is the actual developer, about whom I know very little other than they've made successful adventure titles in the past.

All I ask from an adventure game is non-atrocious voice acting (I'm looking at you, Dracula: Origins!), no stupid, counter-intuitive puzzles (don't expect me to figure out I have to break a small marble statuette with a friggin axe, damnit) and a decent story.

I guess that is asking a lot.

Picking it up tomorrow as well - I'm needing a looting, armor-building, item collecting fix right now. And I like the idea behind the story.

Two Worlds wasn't completely terrible (at least, the PC version wasn't completely terrible) save for the fact the "stacking equipment to make it more powerful" feature could be easily exploited and made the game far too easy.

What happened to reviews being out BEFORE the game shipped? I can't find a one. It's a sad day when devs keep the "review hold" until release day - doesn't bode well for the confindence factor...

One of the few benefits of many games getting released a week (or more) later in the UK, means these days we can read a few reviews first. I liked the Too Human demo though so i'll be picking up a copy next week for certain.

I'll probably grab Space Siege this week, if only to pass the time.

I also have a copy of Nexus : The Jupiter Incident.
I also never finished it

I also have a copy of Nexus : The Jupiter Incident.
I also never finished it.

Likewise, though I didn't finish because it inexplicably CTD'd before the eighth mission every time I tried it.

Is there going to be a demo for Smashcourt Tennis?

PC list reads better like this:

- Ford Adventure Racing Anthology
- Murder in the Epic Edition
- Deadliest Catch:Path of the Dragon
- Two Sinking Worlds
- Dracula 3: Offroad
- Alaskan storm in the Abbey

Regarding Too Human being a whipping boy of the gaming community

I really don't understand what's up with our community. As soon as a developer becomes passionate and vocal about his feelings regarding his project, it seems we feel the need to bash him on the head and silence him.

Personally I really like devs like Denis Dyack, David Jaffe, Jonathan Blow and Peter Molyneux.

They're human (perhaps, Too Human) **badum pssshhh**

I don't know what human emotion/feeling/etc. this springs from but it's really quite sad.

1up gave Too Human a C-

based on playing the demo alot of their complaints seem jusitified. My main gripe with the game was the inventory menus and skill menus were confusing and difficult to navigate.

I'm passing on Too Human - I was ambivalent about the demo - some good things, some bad - but there too much good stuff coming up for me to spend money on games I'm not sure about. That being said, I think it will do well and I'm happy for DD that it will.

Oh, and Two Worlds WAS awful - worst voice acting I've ever heard.

Look... Just buy the game or else St. Catherine's is FINISHED!

I'm still on the fence about Too Human... Parallax will probably end up coaxing me to buy it, but if the replay value is there then I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

Oh, and Two Worlds WAS awful - worst voice acting I've ever heard.

True, but if I avoided buying games with terrible voice acting I'd probably never play another German/Polish RPG ever again...and some of them are quite good

If the game is a hit, it will not only allow the company to grow, but will fuel Dyack's larger agenda for the city and region.

Grand Lord Dyack...Emperor of Canada? :O

I enjoyed Two Worlds. To each their own!

Let August 18 - 22nd be known as the week of Two Worlds Debate!

I wouldnt buy the 'Epic' edition though... just the original.. and let it patch before playing. (This be critical)

I'd really like to thank places like Kotaku for reminding developers that every word out of their mouth will be taken out of context, parsed, scrutinized and then mixed into a tasty Sarcasm Margarita for us all to get drunk on. It will help keep them in line and stop future developers from speaking with the gaming public honestly and without a professional filter. We'll teach 'em yet!

I'm looking forward to 'Too Human': it might be the genre-bending / defining titles many were hoping for, but it's from Silicon Knights (a dev I really like) and it looks like something I'd enjoy.

Also, 'Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty' should be released on the PSN store this Thursday, and being a huge R&C fan, I can't wait to get my hands on that one!

Elysium wrote:

a tasty Sarcasm Margarita

Luckily, your co-founder's delicate sensibilities would preclude him from tolerating so strong a drink.

I'd really like to thank places like Kotaku for reminding developers that every word out of their mouth will be taken out of context, parsed, scrutinized and then mixed into a tasty Sarcasm Margarita for us all to get drunk on. It will help keep them in line and stop future developers from speaking with the gaming public honestly and without a professional filter. We'll teach 'em yet!

Oh joytaku. Your margaritas are so filling and potent!

Elysium wrote:

I'd really like to thank places like Kotaku for reminding developers that every word out of their mouth will be taken out of context, parsed, scrutinized and then mixed into a tasty Sarcasm Margarita for us all to get drunk on. It will help keep them in line and stop future developers from speaking with the gaming public honestly and without a professional filter. We'll teach 'em yet!

If anything, it's places like Kotaku that encourage the celeb developer by bringing them more into the spotlight. I do think that focusing on the minutia of video gaming news is ridiculous, but I'm sure that Silicon Knights PR is loving every single "Dennis Dyack" article on there. There's no such thing as bad press when you're fighting for shelf space.

That being said, I couldn't care less about the future of St. Catherines. I was also pretty underwhelmed by some of the latest offerings out of Montreal (Army of Two, the Lost game). Come on Canadian Devs, gimme something worth buying!

Stylez wrote:

Oh joytaku. Your margaritas are so filling and potent!

But they're served in shallow glasses that make it hard to sip without getting a mess all over your face.

I picked Too Human up today. It's gotten less than great reviews, sure... but I think those reviewers were looking at the wrong games for reference. They wanted it to be more Mass Effect, and weren't looking to see how Gauntlet Legends it is. Personally, it's the best Gauntlet Legends I've seen in a long time. Even better than Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for the PS2. Bonus points for 100% less odd water effects on boobs.

Nevermind, the reviewers were right. The game just kind of ends halfway through both the main plot, and the protagonist's background subplot. It's like paying full price for a book, reading it, then realizing that half the pages were ripped out. I would have to smoke a whole lot of weed to write a game that bad.

Last time I checked, a story has three essential components: a beginning, a middle, and an end. You may, additionally, add a denouement, which is action occurring after the climax. But... it needs to end before you can have a denouement. Hell, it just needs to end period.

You mean like Halo 2? Though the chances of this one getting a sequel are far less, given its critical reception.

hidannik wrote:

You mean like Halo 2? Though the chances of this one getting a sequel are far less, given its critical reception.

Halo 2 at least had a resolution to the Brute vs. Elite plotline. I'm not arguing that Bungie didn't give the world blueballs for a few years, but they had the decency to show some resolution to the slice of the universe they showed there.

I need to play Too Human myself to have a reliable opinion, but it sounds like the team literally split the "franchise" apart at its acts.

Spaz wrote:
hidannik wrote:

You mean like Halo 2? Though the chances of this one getting a sequel are far less, given its critical reception.

Halo 2 at least had a resolution to the Brute vs. Elite plotline. I'm not arguing that Bungie didn't give the world blueballs for a few years, but they had the decency to show some resolution to the slice of the universe they showed there.

I need to play Too Human myself to have a reliable opinion, but it sounds like the team literally split the "franchise" apart at its acts.

To clarify a bit on what it was like. The only time I ever felt that confused and disappointed by an ending was when I finished Stephen Kings The Dark Tower. That series also kind of just ends without a resolution. When it ended I went flipping through the appendices to find out what happened, to see if that was really it.

Likewise, Too Human has this one cut scene at the end where everyone seems to be gearing up for the second half of the game, parts of the plot are explored and revealed, though not resolved, and you don't get to kill the boss you've been gunning for the whole time, nor is his connection with the machines, which you spend most of the game fighting, explained.

When the credits started rolling, I clicked through them, then immediately tried "continue" on the main screen, whereupon the opening cutscene started playing. The ending was so very, very bad, I HONESTLY didn't believe the game could possibly be over, and thought maybe it was some kind of mistake or maybe they just decided to put the credits in the middle or something. There really had to be something more. There wasn't.

Which means: that resolution I found in an appendix of The Dark Tower book 8 that kept me from ripping the book in half screaming and throwing it across the room? Wasn't at all present in Too Human. Unfortunately, it keeps me from ripping it in half by sheer virtue of the fact that I'm still going to try for a refund.