February 6 - February 13

Surprise! It's a BioShock!

BioShock was a critical darling, mostly because it sat in Ayn Rand's iron lap, so I'm excited to see how its progeny approaches narrative design.

Less exciting is the addition of competitive multiplayer. There's only so much room in the shooter pool for leggy enthusiasm, which is something these people don't seem to understand. In this case it's akin to building a beautiful, delicate garden ecosystem, and then herding a bunch of functionally illiterate cannibals with flamethrowers into its confines. You can't shut these splicers up: they respawn until mom calls them upstairs for dinner.

Still, I'm confident that the single player experience will be hyper-glorious, and will remain so even as the multiplayer servers turn to dust. T-minus six months! For now, though, a very worthy game of the week.

Dante's Inferno also lands shortly, which is great because we'll no longer be subjected to EA's ridiculous marketing shenanigans.

Finally, I'd like to point out the strangeness of a Scene It title based on the Twilight series. Only two movies have been released to date, which means the game will have a highly limited scope. I imagine the questions must target some incredibly obscure minutia. There is also the dreadful possibility of a sequel one day; a Scene It? Twilight Complete edition that will wear neutered vampires like a stylish cape.

PC
- BioShock 2
- Everyday Genius: SquareLogic
- Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy
- Stargate Resistance
- Windchaser: Guilds of Glory

360
- BioShock 2
- Dante's Inferno
- Darwinia (Arcade title)
- World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars

PS3
- BioShock 2
- Dante's Inferno
- Star Ocean: The Last Hope International

Wii
- Data East Arcade Classics
- Shiren the Wanderer
- Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll
- The Daring Game for Girls

DS
- Best Friends Tonight
- Jigapix Pets
- Jigapix Wonderful World
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
- Pet Pals: New Leash on Life
- Scene It? Twilight
- The Daring Game for Girls
- World Cup of Pool

Coming Soon
-Alien vs. Predator (PC, 360, PS3) - February 16
-Tropico 3 (360) - February 16
-Duke Nukem Eventually: Take Off & Nukem From Orbit - TBD

Comments

There is absolutely nothing for me this week. Phew! Back to the pile.

Mystic Violet wrote:

There is absolutely nothing for me this week. Phew! Back to the pile.

Seconded! Back to replaying Mass Effect 2!

Ayn Rand's iron lap

Ick.

I'm interested enough to be getting BioShock 2 on day one.

Good thing they aren't putting that Scene It game on the 360, or Clem might have had to grab a copy. You know, for the achievement points.

Meh, given my experience with the original, I think I'll be waiting until I can pick up Bioshock 2 for about $5-10.

I'm actually far more excited about SupCom 2.

TheCounselor wrote:

Good thing they aren't putting that Scene It game on the 360, or Clem might have had to grab a copy. You know, for the achievement points.

There are limits to the compelling power of achievements, good sir. There are limits.

I'm behind enough as it is between all of my Christmas loot and ME2 that I think I'll hold off until BioShock 2 hits a lower price point.

Mystic Violet wrote:

There is absolutely nothing for me this week. Phew! Back to the pile.

Same here. Bioshock 2 seems solid, but I didn't love the first game like most people, and have no desire to return to Rapture. I'm slightly more interested in Dante's Inferno, but not $60 interested. Bayonetta can serve the same purpose, and probably more ably.

Rallick wrote:

Seconded! Back to replaying Mass Effect 2!

I enjoyed that game for the most part, but find it completely un-replayable. The story divergences would be great, but I can see that stuff on youtube. There is too much monotonous combat in the middle.

Clemenstation wrote:
TheCounselor wrote:

Good thing they aren't putting that Scene It game on the 360, or Clem might have had to grab a copy. You know, for the achievement points.

There are limits to the compelling power of achievements, good sir. There are limits.

Right. Besides, there's always the board game.

Bioshock 2 has been jumping up and down saying "Rent me! Rent me! I'm a gigantic gamble that's unlikely to pay off!" in my head for months now.

For anyone with a Wii and a wave of nostalgia, there's a remake on WiiWare of Blaster Master coming out today. From the trailer I saw, gameplay looks just like the original but updated just right, except you can still only fire in the direction you are facing / walking.

Other than that, I'll be waiting for the drop in price on Bioshock 2 as I'll be finally installing the original Bioshock on my new computer this week to delve into Rapture (even though I had a disctracted play through on the 360).

EDIT: here's the trailer for Blaster Master

Blaster Master was the most frustrating game I owned on the NES. Loved it to death, never beat it

AnimeJ wrote:

Blaster Master was the most frustrating game I owned on the NES. Loved it to death, never beat it :(

Well, between that, Ninja Gaiden (only the original, I breezed through the sequels somehow) and Battletoads, I hang my head in shame. Thankfully I recently removed Castlevania II from my shaming me, thanks to my now wife who's beaten it without dying before.

I'm fascinated that more people aren't jumping up and down about BioShock 2.

I couldn't get through the first game. I played it after beating Fallout 3, and the game is such a direct...ah..."homage" to the Fallout universe that it felt shallow and lifeless. All the "atmosphere" in the world, the one word used consistently to describe the first game, could not cover up the many odd design decisions. I got the distinct impression they wanted to do more than make a shooter, but the elements they introduced were just odd.

Mostly the hacking, which seemed so pointless and irritating. A world that was alive yet empty, which was quite a feat after navigating the vast wastelands of Fallout 3.

The one thing I did like? Weapons on the right trigger, powers on the left trigger. I usually warn people about deviating from standard user interface conventions, but this was brilliant and intuitive. With all the RPG-lite elements they introduced, BioShock should have been a nightmare control scheme. Instead it positively flowed.

Unfortunately, the game bored me before I got past the first third of the game. I got rid of it and never looked back. The appeal of the game would have been greater had it not been for the catalog expansion of the 360 since it was released. I often wonder if BioShock's praise wasn't a direct result of a distinct lack of competition. Without significantly expanding the game, I wonder how much fan goodwill will be needed to keep the franchise afloat? Naturally, the reviewers will be lavishing it with A++ and perfect 10's about now.

What no Stargate love?

Botswana wrote:

Unfortunately, the game bored me before I got past the first third of the game. I got rid of it and never looked back. The appeal of the game would have been greater had it not been for the catalog expansion of the 360 since it was released. I often wonder if BioShock's praise wasn't a direct result of a distinct lack of competition.

I played it on the PC, where it has plenty of competition, and I regard it as one of the best shooters of all time.

For me, the true draw of Bioshock is not in the mechanics (which are good, don't get me wrong), but in the beautifully decrepit and utterly bizarre world in which it takes place. I wanted not only to see Rapture, but to experience its downfall.

This is, really, why I have no interest in Boishock 2. The most important story of Rapture has already been told, and I have no real appetite for any loose ends that have been fabricated for this installment to tie up.

gore wrote:

This is, really, why I have no interest in Boishock 2. The most important story of Rapture has already been told, and I have no real appetite for any loose ends that have been fabricated for this installment to tie up.

I guess this means their hype campaign for it hasn't been as successful as it might have been. If it is actually a good game, I hope they don't leave it in a ditch after release if it doesn't instantly top the charts. Especially with multiplayer there's the opportunity to have it last a while if they treat it right, give people a little incentive to pick it up in a slow period of the year once it's patched.

That said, the multiplayer sounds like "standard multiplayer modes with the plasmids gimmick" (and if it's more than that, shows how poorly I've been informed), so I'll be curious if this gets much after launch support and expansion, or whether the team immediately move onto another game.

Scratched wrote:

That said, the multiplayer sounds like "standard multiplayer modes with the plasmids gimmick"

Which is just going to remind me how much potential Shadowrun had.

Well, I may be a sucker but I'm standing by my membership in the Cult of Rapture.

My hopes aren't that high this time out, but I did love the setting so much . . . If they've ironed out the feel of the controls to be more like Borderlands, then I might not play Borderlands long enough to play it. Or I'll go back to Borderlands.

gains wrote:

Well, I may be a sucker but I'm standing by my membership in the Cult of Rapture.

Early reviews seem to indicate that you are not, in fact, a sucker!

Botswana wrote:

I'm fascinated that more people aren't jumping up and down about BioShock 2.

Yeah... who would've thought we would be suffering new release fatigue in February?

The new release thing is totally true. I mean, we've already had one huge release in Mass Effect 2, and another big one this week. Star Trek Online was reasonably big, and Bayonetta and Darksiders took people somewhat by surprise. Dante's Inferno is on people's radar, and Heavy Rain is only a couple weeks away.

March is even crazier with FFXIII, God of War III, Metro 2033, Bad Company 2, etc. March 16th may as well be any Tuesday in November.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

Thankfully I recently removed Castlevania II from my shaming me, thanks to my now wife who's beaten it without dying before.

I'm just going to assume that's why you married her.

I was initially skeptical about the idea of Bioshock 2, since I thought "it's not something new and exciting, it's just more Bioshock". Then I realized that having been playing through a mixture of MMOs, RTSs, RPGs and relatively mindless shooters recently, more Bioshock is exactly what I'm in the mood for. Reasonably low expectations + good but not exceptional reviews have got me feeling pretty positive about it, while keeping my Shock franchise fanboy-ism under control.

It also doesn't hurt that going in on a US 4-pack preorder means that at launch I'm already getting the game at a drastically reduced price point - >50% and >70% off the Australian Steam and retail prices respectively.

Darwinia on XBLA already? I never played it before—should I get it, or should I really really get it?

After playing Mass Effect 2 I have the sinking feeling that Bioshock 2's story will be disappointing.

I've gone from dubious to cautiously optimistic regarding Bioshock 2. But I'm already behind the curve, it's going to need to wait.

Looks like we're starting 2010 slow, which is good for me because I've got a backlog from 2009 to get through.

(He says as he begins Fallout 3 with a new character)

Count me among those uninterested in Bioshock. I enjoyed the first one, though not to the orgasmic level that so many seemed to. I fear the sequel will suffer from M. Night Shyamalan syndrome.

That is to say, about two-thirds of the way through there will be a plot twist that makes no sense simply because a big plot twist is expected from a Bioshock game.

My guess:

Spoiler:

The Big Brothers are all actually women and the main protagonist will be revealed to be Sander Cohen's daughter.

Kind of like the original Metroid.

I might play Bioshock 2 in a years time when it's very cheap. I have no interest really. It feels a bit like an unwanted sequel that might pass sometime at best and sour the memories of the first game at worst.

Dante's Inferno wasn't my kind of game to start with and it sounds like it isn't that well done. At least the Dante's Inferno demo showed me I probably wouldn't enjoy God of War (the PS3 game I had the most desire to get my mitts on.)

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Looks like we're starting 2010 slow, which is good for me because I've got a backlog from 2009 to get through.

Except for that new BioWare title the other day. I can't remember what it was called, but I think Cert-ysium liked it.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Looks like we're starting 2010 slow, which is good for me because I've got a backlog from 2009 to get through.

For you, maybe. Bayonetta, No More Heroes 2, Mass Effect 2 and Darksiders in January alone means for a lot of us, 2010 is the first gaming year in ages that doesn't start slow.