August 23 - August 27

It feels like it's been a while since we had a good solid week's release list to dig through. That's not to say we've not had some great games, but many of them have kind of been on the periphery or a given week just had one large release backed by titles that barely register above absolute zero on the interest scale.

The question for me this week is tougher than any I've had to struggle with of late: Elemental or Mafia II. A classic PC strategy game born from a legacy that began with Master of Magic or an encouraging sequel to one of the most underrated great shooters. The choice is not which I am going to buy -- the answer to that question is both -- the question is which am I more excited about playing.

I have to admit that I have some concerns about Elemental. As a long time beta tester, I still don't quite see the glue to ultimately pull this game together, and though I have some confidence that there are elements to Elemental that have been held back, my hype meter is tempered by the enormity of the effort that Stardock seems to be attempting. On the other side, a terrific Mafia II demo has me completely sold, which is why that's the game that is getting my provisional nod for Game of the Week.

PC
- Elemental: War of Magic
- Hello Kitty Online
- Mafia 2
- Worms Reloaded

Xbox 360
- Mafia 2
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (XBLA)
- Shank (XBLA)

PS3
- Mafia 2
- Shank (XBLA)

Wii
- Grease
- Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns Arcade Hits Pack
- Ivy the Kiwi?
- NHL 2K11
- The Bachelor: The Videogame

DS
- Grease
- Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar
- Ivy the Kiwi?
- The Bachelor: The Videogame

Coming Soon

- Metroid Other M : August 31
- Halo Reach : September 14
- Civilization V : September 21
- Fallout New Vegas -- PC, PS3, Xbox 360 : October 19
- Rock Band 3 -- Xbox 360, PS3 : October 26
- Fable 3 -- PC, Xbox 360 : October 26
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 -- PC, 360, PS3, Wii : October 26
- DC Universe Online : November 2
- Kinect : November 4
- Little Big Planet 2 : November 16

Comments

Hello Kitty Online will have relevance long after Elemental and Mafia II fall by the wayside, trashed and forgotten.

I hope there's some copies of the PC collector's edition of Mafia II come Friday so I can snag a copy at Best Buy. Want to get it for when I do my video card upgrade here in a couple months so I can play it maxed out.

Suck it, Sands. We'll still be talking about The Bachelor: The Videoame a decade from now.

[size=7]Btw, Elemental and Mafia II should've shared the crown.[/size]

I went and preordered Mafia II the day after I downloaded the demo. Seems like it'll be a good time. I really liked the settings, music, and general look of the world.

*Edit: As an aside, the PS3 version of Shank will be distributed via PSN, not XBLA.

Gunblade NY looks sweet

LarryC wrote:

Hello Kitty Online will have relevance long after Elemental and Mafia II fall by the wayside, trashed and forgotten.

You're probably correct.

r013nt0 wrote:

*Edit: As an aside, the PS3 version of Shank will be distributed via PSN, not XBLA.

o/\o

I'm circumspect with open world games, but Mafia seems pretty compelling. I just have no money this week.

*edit*

Oh, one thing I do have money for this week, and is therefore my GotW. Worms Reloaded.

You missed NHL 11 for September 7th in your coming soon section. I'm going to send Cam Jansen over to kick your ass.

Concerning Mafia II: To people who own both a console (360 or PS3) and a PC, which version are you getting? I heard good things about the PC demo, but if the controls are fine the 360 would be my choice; not having to worry about performance and the fact that my 360 is hooked up to a big lcd tv and in front of a couch...

Apparently the screen tearing and frame rate on console versions are a mess. Even if I wasn't limited to PC, that's the version I would buy.

If it was present in the demo I never really noticed it.

A hello Kitty MMORPG?

My daughter will be thrilled.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

A hello Kitty MMORPG?

My daughter will be thrilled.

Yes!! An MMORPG where my farming for gold, is actually growing crops for money! [EPIC SARCASM]

I'm playing through the original Mafia for the first time right now, and as an Italian-American raised in the Bronx, I'm loving it. Mafia II, even though I pre-ordered it, is going to sit in the pile for a bit.

Hey look at that...I didn't realize that Shank was due out this week. I'm looking forward to impressions on that one.

I'm in a bit of a holding pattern on Mafia II. PS3/360 are my only options, and while I loved the first game back in the day, I'm hearing concerning reports about the console ports.

- Civilization V : September 21
- Fallout New Vegas -- PC, PS3, Xbox 360 : October 19
- Rock Band 3 -- Xbox 360, PS3 : October 26
- Fable 3 -- PC, Xbox 360 : October 26

Damn.

I'm pretty excited about Mafia 2, but I'll wait for the inevitable Steam sale. I loved the first game, I loved the demo, but all things considered I tend not to play those GTA-like games to death like I'd expect to at first.

As for Elemental, I'll be curious to see some reviews. From what I've read so far I thought this would be a day one guaranteed purchase for me, but the fact that they're selling it full price made me more cautious. I want to see if there's enough meat to it.

django wrote:

As for Elemental, I'll be curious to see some reviews. From what I've read so far I thought this would be a day one guaranteed purchase for me, but the fact that they're selling it full price made me more cautious. I want to see if there's enough meat to it.

You mean you thought it would be a $20 game?

The interrogative title (and, well, the fact that it's released for the Wii) might have turned people away from Ivy the Kiwi, but fans of Kirby's Canvas Curse might be interested in checking it out:

IMAGE(http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii377/Netbrian/NGPlus/20100822/ivy2.jpg)

Similar to Canvas Curse, players use motion control to draw vines and other objects for Ivy to use in traversing the various puzzles in the game.

Also, if you're feeling iffy about checking out the game at full retail price, there's supposed to be a WiiWare/DSiWare "mini-version" of the game coming out at some point later this year.

estorino wrote:

Concerning Mafia II: To people who own both a console (360 or PS3) and a PC, which version are you getting? I heard good things about the PC demo, but if the controls are fine the 360 would be my choice; not having to worry about performance and the fact that my 360 is hooked up to a big lcd tv and in front of a couch...

PC. The graphics on the 360 demo were something of a letdown for me. I haven't checked out the PS3 demo; it may look better. It looks really great & runs super smooth on my gaming laptop.

OzymandiasAV

Thanks for the heads-up! That does look interesting.

In any case, where do I start a petition to make sure that Metroid: Other M gets some attention next week?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

In any case, where do I start a petition to make sure that Metroid: Other M gets some attention next week?

Since he has it listed under coming soon, there might be some hope.

garion333 wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

In any case, where do I start a petition to make sure that Metroid: Other M gets some attention next week?

Since he has it listed under coming soon, there might be some hope. ;)

What's the over-under on Elysium using some variation on the "dust off your Wii" joke when talking about it?

garion333 wrote:
django wrote:

As for Elemental, I'll be curious to see some reviews. From what I've read so far I thought this would be a day one guaranteed purchase for me, but the fact that they're selling it full price made me more cautious. I want to see if there's enough meat to it.

You mean you thought it would be a $20 game?

Actually, my bad. I previously only took a quick glance at the price, saw the $50 price tag, and basically assumed it was being sold for 50€ (~65$). It's actually ~40€ ($50) which is more in line with what I expected (around 30€ when I took a first look at the game). I'm so used to online stores basically pricing stuff at $1 = 1€, I'm actually surprised when not being ripped off.

The Bachelor video game + motion control = . . . you know, I'm not going to finish that equation.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
garion333 wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

In any case, where do I start a petition to make sure that Metroid: Other M gets some attention next week?

Since he has it listed under coming soon, there might be some hope. ;)

What's the over-under on Elysium using some variation on the "dust off your Wii" joke when talking about it?

Considering that that joke is "funny because it's true" for most of the audience (whether rightly or wrongly), I'd say odds are good.

Going by the amount of people on Steam friends that have pre-purchased or at least wish-listed Worms, that seems like what people will be playing this week.

Metroid next week, woohoo!

OzymandiasAV wrote:

The interrogative title (and, well, the fact that it's released for the Wii) might have turned people away from Ivy the Kiwi, but fans of Kirby's Canvas Curse might be interested in checking it out:

Similar to Canvas Curse, players use motion control to draw vines and other objects for Ivy to use in traversing the various puzzles in the game.

Also, if you're feeling iffy about checking out the game at full retail price, there's supposed to be a WiiWare/DSiWare "mini-version" of the game coming out at some point later this year.

It's also from Yuji Naka, the man behind Sonic, if that piques anyone's interest.

Dysplastic wrote:

Considering that that joke is "funny because it's true" for most of the audience (whether rightly or wrongly), I'd say odds are good.

I think it's tragic that many such gamers overlook excellent Wii games just because they have some kind of media-induced prejudice about gaming on the system. That we could say this to whatever extent about any of our esteemed podcasters is just that much more tragic.

LarryC wrote:

I think it's tragic that many such gamers overlook excellent Wii games just because they have some kind of media-induced prejudice about gaming on the system. That we could say this to whatever extent about any of our esteemed podcasters is just that much more tragic.

While there are certainly excellent Wii games, it's hard to argue with the fact that they aren't released on a regular basis.

LarryC wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Considering that that joke is "funny because it's true" for most of the audience (whether rightly or wrongly), I'd say odds are good.

I think it's tragic that many such gamers overlook excellent Wii games just because they have some kind of media-induced prejudice about gaming on the system. That we could say this to whatever extent about any of our esteemed podcasters is just that much more tragic.

Yes, it is awfully tragic. There are times that I am just utterly disgusted with myself for not finding Wii games to be more compelling and fun.

Seriously, I've owned a Wii since launch and played several titles on it. Do you really consider it tragic that I, like many, many other gamers just seem to prefer a standard controller? Am I under some kind of media-induced bias against the Wii? Is it not possible that I, and plenty of other gamers that own, but fail to use the Wii, am just making informed choices about what kind of games will provide the most enjoyment?

And if they differ from yours, is that really tragic, or just a great part of what makes life great. We all like different stuff, which increases the odds that we are exposed to different stuff.

We still break out the Wii when friends come over and my daughter uses it a fair amount. Although she still gravitates to the Gamecube titles over the new Wii titles we have bought. But the Wii has primarily taken up a role as an alternative to board games (oh, and isn't that tragic!).

Dysplastic:

Neither are good HD console games. What's been on these past few weeks? Practically nothing, that's what.

It's not hard to argue that there are at least as many good Wii games as there are on the other consoles, because the games are there, they have been released, and they continue to be released.

It's a little disappointing to hear the podcasters moan about the lack of a good motion-controlled sword brawler on any system when Red Steel 2, a perfectly good motion-controlled sword brawler just released a week or so back.

"Developers have not made a good 2D side scrolling brawler in forever!"

Well, actually, Vanillaware made Muramasa, which is exactly that, and which is excellent. But no one paid it any mind because it was Japanese-themed and it was on the Wii. That's kind of tragic, don't you think?