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

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 don't know that we need to get into a debate about whether or not there are fun games on the Wii (too late, it looks like). I just think it's funny how every time a major game comes out on the Wii, every article written about it on every gaming site feels the need to use that exact same joke. It's like a virus.

Jayhawker:

If you've really kept yourself informed about Wii titles and releases, and you have decided against them based on informed opinion, then there's nothing wrong with that at all. That said, what's wrong with games on the Wii that make good use of the Classic Controller, or a Wiimote used like a NES? Those are pretty standard.

If you really keep your ear on the ground for the Wii releases, then I applaud your vigilance and clear-thinking. My impression is that you're in the minority.

LarryC wrote:

"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?

Muramasa, Monster Hunter Tri, Mario Kart, and SSBB are perfect examples of great video games on the Wii that don't use some stupid motion control gimmick. Classic controller, great gameplay, solid graphics, fantastic games all around. Yes the Wii needs more "standard" games like this, instead of motion shovelware. But don't worry, motion shovelware is on its way to the HD consoles this fall! Hooray.

LarryC wrote:

Jayhawker:

If you've really kept yourself informed about Wii titles and releases, and you have decided against them based on informed opinion, then there's nothing wrong with that at all. That said, what's wrong with games on the Wii that make good use of the Classic Controller, or a Wiimote used like a NES? Those are pretty standard.

If you really keep your ear on the ground for the Wii releases, then I applaud your vigilance and clear-thinking. My impression is that you're in the minority.

I'm not sure you get I am saying. I am predisposed to ignoring Wii games because I don't like the controller. It works for some games, and can be fun in doses, but I find myself avoiding it in favor of the 360.

No gamer should ever be expected to keeping his ear to the ground and be vigilant when it comes to playing games. For one, most everyone here is already more involved with discovering new games than the average gamer, so your mini-rant is kind of lost on us. But mostly, this is a pastime or hobby. Nobody should feel guilty for just playing what they like.

Except for Elysium and WoW. He should really knock that off.

There is nothing tragic about the Wii. Nothing. They sold a bajillion consoles, and seem to have half of the games sold in a given NPD list. But for this forum, in general, the Wii does fit our demographic. It's not tragic, it's just folks finding games they like, and many don't happen to be Wii games.

Jayhawker:

Well, that's kind of the point. I think many games people say they want are already on Wii, they just don't know it yet because they get predisposed by something that isn't a problem - like using a Classic instead of the Wiimote.

It's tragic because innovative and good titles made by hopeful and creative developers are not finding their audience. This means that developer and publisher interest in all of this good stuff is getting set back, maybe permanently, because people didn't know they wanted it. They just assumed they didn't.

I said that I applaud you if you were really being vigilant or clear-headed about Wii titles. I didn't say that it was necessary or that I expected it. If you weren't that clear-headed or vigilant, then you would be just like all the other gamers who are ignoring games they might have enjoyed just because it's on the Wii - and that's tragic for us as participants in the gamer culture at large.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I don't know that we need to get into a debate about whether or not there are fun games on the Wii (too late, it looks like). I just think it's funny how every time a major game comes out on the Wii, every article written about it on every gaming site feels the need to use that exact same joke. It's like a virus.

I'll definitely agree with you there - a tired joke, indeed.

I think that joke just flew in from Cincinnati.

LarryC wrote:

Jayhawker:

Well, that's kind of the point. I think many games people say they want are already on Wii, they just don't know it yet because they get predisposed by something that isn't a problem - like using a Classic instead of the Wiimote.

It's tragic because innovative and good titles made by hopeful and creative developers are not finding their audience. This means that developer and publisher interest in all of this good stuff is getting set back, maybe permanently, because people didn't know they wanted it. They just assumed they didn't.

I said that I applaud you if you were really being vigilant or clear-headed about Wii titles. I didn't say that it was necessary or that I expected it. If you weren't that clear-headed or vigilant, then you would be just like all the other gamers who are ignoring games they might have enjoyed just because it's on the Wii - and that's tragic for us as participants in the gamer culture at large.

I think the problem here is your assumption that going out of one's way to find reasons to use the Wii equals being "clear-headed" about it. It's not my job to seek out games for the Wii. It's a game publisher's job to let me know about them and make me want to buy them. That's how they make money, and if they don't do that, it's their failure, not mine. There are far more awesome games coming out all the time than I have money and time to spend on them, so if I spend the lion's share of my gaming time on another platform, I'm having a great time either way.

Dysplastic:

Year? That's up to August of last year, right? Wouldn't that include New Super Mario Brothers Wii, as well as Sakura Wars, the new Trauma Center, Another R, Guitar Hero 5 (with DS Roadie Battles!), Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Lost Winds 2, DSE, Arc Rise Fantasia, PES 2010, Castlevania and Contra Rebirth, POP: The Forgotten Sands (different from the HD version), Sky Crawlers, Spectrobes, Boy and His Blob, Cursed Mountain, Fragile Dreams, Muramasa, and so on?

Even limiting it to just from January of this year, we still get (in addition to the things you listed) Fragile Dreams, ARF, Sakura Wars, POP, Trauma Center, and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. I'm sure I'm missing some games - this is just off the top of my head. Also, these titles don't involve anything that would appeal to so-called "casual" audiences.

In contrast, for games on HD consoles, you get people giving fringe stuff like Metro and Singularity a chance and some airtime as well.

In this week's list, is anyone giving anything on the Wii list even a second glance? NHL 2k11 is there, and I have it on good authority that the previous version was a very excellent hockey game.

The argument about "core" gamers is being made, Dysplastic, but it's based on the experience of people who don't even try to give Wii titles a chance.

hbi2k:

You won't find disagreement with me on that score. It's hard to make the argument, but I'm getting the impression that publishers have been sandbagging the Wii systematically. I mean, Red Steel 2 was practically a stealth release, and that'a pretty landmark title in that it's the first game of its kind - AND it's pretty good.

LarryC wrote:

The argument about "core" gamers is being made, Dysplastic, but it's based on the experience of people who don't even try to give Wii titles a chance.

This argument never changes anyone's opinion. Ever. You've made it over and over again in many different forms and people aren't jumping out of their seats looking for more Wii games.

Can we put it to rest already? Or at least stop making it so damn vehemently.

That's a... ...strange request. It's okay to take note of it, as long as I do it in a bland fashion? Hm.

I don't know that it's not making a difference, though. I think that my mentioning of particular titles have increased gamer awareness of them on the average, and those games were so badly marketed by their publishers that they could have used any kind of publicity.

Some gamers have a permanently tarnished opinion of the Wii for whatever reason. Those guys are beyond reach, but some people are just in need of information.

Isn't that one of the reasons for why we have and discuss Game of the Week?

LarryC wrote:

Some gamers have a permanently tarnished opinion of the Wii for whatever reason. Those guys are beyond reach, but some people are just in need of information.

Isn't that one of the reasons for why we have and discuss Game of the Week?

But when you post this:

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.

You really aren't just providing information, are you? You are being condescending and rude because the community you are a part of has a different idea about what makes gaming fun.

Hey look, it's the same Wii conversation that's been had in every third Wii thread for years

Aaaaaaanyway, I'm actually really considering both Mafia 2 and Worms on the PC. I shouldn't be, but I really really am.

Jayhawker:

You are totally misreading the intent of that statement. Aaaand, I'm done with that.

Thin_J:

I hear the console versions of Mafia II are having issues. Is this a significant reason to prefer to get it on PC?

Not a moderator. - Certis

Kotaku's Owen Good had little "good" (oh dear) to say about Mafia II http://kotaku.com/5619291/mafia-ii-r...

He was playing the PS3 version, but his criticisms sound like they could apply across the board. If I hear his complaints are valid, I may have to pass.

estorino="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..."

I was waffling back and forth between PC and 360, finally decided to go with the PC. The original Mafia on the PC was eminently more enjoyable when I hooked up a steering wheel controller (the race mission in particular that everyone hated was a breeze). Between that, the better visuals, and the $10 cheaper price tag I decided to stick with the PC.

LarryC wrote:

Thin_J:

I hear the console versions of Mafia II are having issues. Is this a significant reason to prefer to get it on PC?

There's definitely issues for a lot of people with the demo. And the visual clarity on the PC is just lightyears ahead of the 360 demo. It may not look like a big difference in youtube videos but it certainly does with the game in motion right there in front of you.

Thin_J wrote:

Hey look, it's the same Wii conversation that's been had in every third Wii thread for years

We really need a new console generation, if only to spark some new conversations for the next 5 years.

Reviewers are saying Mafia is about 10 hours long. Sounds good to me, I don't often have the energy for long games, and by 20 hours the credits need to be close. I will buy Mafia, but need to wait a bit, guess that means no preorder DLC though

I will console myself with Worms.

LarryC wrote:

Jayhawker:

You are totally misreading the intent of that statement. Aaaand, I'm done with that.

To be perfectly honest, I got the same vibe Jayhawker did from that statement and others you've made. If your intention is, as you say, to raise awareness of good Wii games, and if your posts are failing to do that because they come across-- unintentionally or not-- as condescending, then it might not be a bad idea to re-examine the way in which you are going about accomplishing your goal. Just because you don't MEAN to condescend doesn't mean you might not come across that way anyway. And when you imply-- again, unintentionally I'm sure-- that anyone who's not as in love with the Wii's library as you are must therefore be operating under a media-induced bias and could not POSSIBLY be thinking clearly and exercising their own judgment on the matter, well, that's exactly how you come across.

Sands must be on the take, why else no prose for Worms?

Kurrelgyre wrote:

Sands must be on the take, why else no prose for Worms?

The only thing he hates more than Nintendo is downloaded games that's why. He are bias.

Worms is making it into my pile, definitely. I mean, it's Worms!

Concerning Mafia II: Thanks for the input on my "which version are you getting?" question. I tried the 360 demo and found nothing really wrong with it, I can imagine the PC version looking better though with higher res. and anti-aliasing. I didn't find anything to love either, the demo felt like GTA4 in the 50's. The reviews aren't stellar either, I think I'm gonna pass. (At least until the steam christmas sale )

The more and more I read about FIFA 11 (Sept. 28) and NBA 2k11 (Oct. 5)— those Jordan modes?!?!?!?!? — the more I get super excited.

I hope the goalie control in FIFA is intuitive and fluid ... it's going to bring the excitement back on the breakaway for vs. match-ups in a really cool way, I think.

And being able to put MJ onto any roster and use him in your dynasty up to age 40 in 2k? Whoa.

It's like, ... too much good stuff. And in the best way possible. It takes me back to the Fable2 + Fallout3 seven day stretch a few years ago. Ahhhh.

After reading all of the mediocre reviews for Mafia II I decided to cancel my pre-order. I'd love to get Shank which is due out on PSN today, but for some reason they haven't felt like updating the store yet...

r013nt0 wrote:

After reading all of the mediocre reviews for Mafia II I decided to cancel my pre-order. I'd love to get Shank which is due out on PSN today, but for some reason they haven't felt like updating the store yet...

The store is updated, isn't it? The blog post is up.

For those of you still deciding between PC & 360 versions--it looks like it's not a GFWL game. There are still achievements in the PC version, but I don't think they add to your gamerscore. Not 100% sure (I just installed it), but GFWL didn't launch & it's not in their list of games, so I really don't think so. This may be news to nobody but me, of course.

So, if you're an achievement whore, go 360.

None of this applies to the PS3 version. But seriously, is there such a thing as a PS3 trophy whore?

TheCounselor wrote:
r013nt0 wrote:

After reading all of the mediocre reviews for Mafia II I decided to cancel my pre-order. I'd love to get Shank which is due out on PSN today, but for some reason they haven't felt like updating the store yet...

The store is updated, isn't it? The blog post is up.

Yeah, they did eventually update it. Usually PSN seems to update at around 5PM Pacific time, but for some reason they were about two hours late getting it done yesterday.

I got to play it for about an hour and a half, loving it so far.