October 4 - October 8

Tis the season for The Week Ahead to become a huge pain in the ascot. If you've been waiting all year to buy your loved one a game involving basic pet care, October will always be your month. While the release list is certainly long, it is not necessarily glittering with things worth getting enthusiastic over.

I know last week I brought some apathy to the weekly table. One might say that it's the kind of bellyaching that's only possible by those cursed with a wealth of abundance, and I don't necessarily disagree with that. Frankly, this week it would be easier to write this post if there was some big October game to get all stirred up about.

Unless you're a fan of either Ben 10 or John Daly, there may not be a ton to get excited about. I realize Castlevania fans may take umbrage with this statement, but I am not counted among that membership. So I'm giving the nod to NBA Jam on the Wii, which I am hoping will be a fun throwback to the classic action sports games of the nineties. It's the right game on the right platform, and I have to admit that I find myself interested and hopeful that NBA Jam can recapture long lost magic.

For that reason, it's my choice for Game of the Week.

PC
- John Daly's ProStroke Golf
- NBA 2K11

Xbox 360
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
- Def Jam Rapstar
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
- John Daly's ProStroke Golf
- NBA 2K11

PS3
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
- Def Jam Rapstar
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
- John Daly's ProStroke Golf
- NBA 2K11

Wii
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
- Def Jam Rapstar
- FIFA Soccer 11
- Hollywood Squares
- NBA 2K11
- NBA Jam
- Oops! Prank Party
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
- Wii Party

DS
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
- Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
- Freddi Fish: ABC Under the Sea
- I Love Puppies
- Jewel Master: Cradle of Athena
- Jewels of Tropical Lost Island
- Littlest Pet Shop 3: Biggest Stars Blue
- Littlest Pet Shop 3: Biggest Stars Pink
- Littlest Pet Shop 3: Biggest Stars Purple
- Petz Fantasy: Sunshine Magic
- Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs
- Rock Blast
- Sports Collection
- Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

PSP
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
- NBA 2K11

Coming Soon

- 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
- Epic Mickey : November 30
- Little Big Planet 2 : January 18

Comments

This not being 2k is weeeeird it's Michael Jordan

EDIT: also, without online play I'll say this won't even be the definitive version of Jam out this year.

I'm looking forward to Castlevania and Enslaved, but I have a soft spot for NBA Jam, so I cannot fault your choice.

After playing the Demo, Enslaved has gone from not even on the radar to making me want to pick it up. Gonna have to do some internal arguing to decide, especially with what the rest of the month holds.

NBA 2K11 is the first basketball game that I've been even passively excited about in years...but I can understand the reluctance to roll with the new 2K basketball game on the marquee, since last year's version was a bug-riddled disaster, by all accounts. The Jordan modes and the NBA Draft Combine look like interesting additions, but waiting for some user reviews may not be a bad idea.

I'm giving Castlevania a shot.

Someone gave John Daly a video game? Have they ever actually seen the man play golf?

Enslaved is Journey to the West in a post-apocalyptic high-tech wasteland with beat-em-up combat and Tomb Raider platforming. It's on my will-buy list.

If it's got Pigsy and Sandy in it, it gets bumped up to the top of the list.

Hans Dannik

Enslaved first, then Castlevania.

This week's pick clearly shows a bias against the Wii. It should have been NBA Jam for the Wii.

Wait, what?

My favorite computer basketball game of all time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_on_...

Spent hours playing this on my trusty C-64 circa 1984.

MacBrave wrote:

My favorite computer basketball game of all time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_on_...

Spent hours playing this on my trusty C-64 circa 1984.

Same here. I had a lot of fun with it, but the C64 (maybe NES) era was the last time I wanted to play a basketball game, so I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that Elysium picked a NBA game (on the Wii no less) over Castlevania: LoS and Enslaved. I haven't bought a new, full-priced console game since RDR, but after playing the demo and reading a few reviews, I'll be getting Enslaved.

Wii Party is my game of the week. Picked it up yesterday and played for a few hours. Definitely worthwhile if you're into party games. I'd say it's a great game to play with non-gamers and kids.

The wait for Castlevania to be game of the week is going to be a long and disappointing one.

NBA Jam certainly has the potential to pull the nostalgia strings, but I always felt that EA's NBA Street series was the true successor to the arcade b-ball throne.

Elysium wrote:

The wait for Castlevania to be game of the week is going to be a long and disappointing one.

And yet, by picking a multiplayer-focused sports title on the Wii, you give us hope that truly anything is possible.

OzymandiasAV wrote:
Elysium wrote:

The wait for Castlevania to be game of the week is going to be a long and disappointing one.

And yet, by picking a multiplayer-focused sports title on the Wii, you give us hope that truly anything is possible.

Yeah, you've been disappointing Wii gamers for so long now, the possibility always exists that you will be able to make someone happy.

I've been waiting for this week for ages, hoping against hope that you'll pick Enslaved over Castlevania as GotW. It has been weeks of nerve-shattering, nail-biting tensions.

And then...this.

I'll be in the corner. Crying.

I haven't paid attention to console BBall games since NBA 2k3. I just read a review that said NBA 2K11 is the best sports game of the generation!

The Jordan challenges sound amazing since I witnessed most if not all of those achievments. Also the fact that they have finally nailed momentum which means no more ice skating basketball players.

Sold. Now just to figure out if I want it on 360 or PS3.

Planescape: Torment made its way onto GOG only like four days ago, so that counts as a new release in my book. 'Specially when you couldn't find a copy for less than 60 bucks the week before. 'Specially when it's my first time playing, because back in '99, I was still a tabletop RPG snob. But since I'm ten years past being able to join a PNP D&D group, I'm now a believer.

Also, will Minecraft be eligible for GOTW when it goes gold?

MacBrave wrote:

My favorite computer basketball game of all time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_on_...

Spent hours playing this on my trusty C-64 circa 1984.

Was playing it at the very same time. Spent endless hours with it.

The C-64 was not a bad sports gaming console. World's Greatest Baseball Game, Hardball, and Summer Olympics were all heavily played in our house. One on One and Hardball were just fantastic multiplayer games.

Jayhawker wrote:
MacBrave wrote:

My favorite computer basketball game of all time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_on_...

Spent hours playing this on my trusty C-64 circa 1984.

Was playing it at the very same time. Spent endless hours with it.

The C-64 was not a bad sports gaming console. World's Greatest Baseball Game, Hardball, and Summer Olympics were all heavily played in our house. One on One and Hardball were just fantastic multiplayer games.

OMG Hardball. Played the sh*t out of that game.

Yeah, Hardball. The only videogame I ever played with my dad.

Nightmare wrote:

Yeah, Hardball. The only videogame I ever played with my dad.

Hardball defined the way baseball games had to portray the pitcher/ batter duel. It accomplished so much with just two teams, Red and Blue, and fictional players. I don't remember much, except the thrill of trying to hit or pitch against a human opponent with nothing more than our old Atari joysticks.

BTW, as I get back on topic, what was it about the Enslaved demo that ha people so excited? The premise of the gameplay and story are pretty cool, but the execution was horrid. The controls felt sluggish and inexact, and the main character is a buffoon that I'm not sure I can endure for an entire game. The combat is stiff, and nowhere near as engaging as Batman: AA.

I will admit that the girl is hot, and they have written and animated her in a way that is very seductive. But the demo pretty much turned this into a rental, at best.

Jayhawker wrote:

what was it about the Enslaved demo that ha people so excited?

It's Journey to the West. I for one wasn't bothered by the controls, they seemed fine to me.

And the main character is (a post-apocalyptic sci-fi version of) The Monkey King. Of course he's a buffoon. In fact, if I have a problem with him, it's that he's not buffoonish enough. Monkey should be more of an irreverent wiseass and less perpetually angry.

Hans

Sheesh, after reading/watching IGN's NBA 2K11 review, I'm wondering if that should be Game of the Week.

"NBA 2K11 is a love letter to basketball fans...

The fact that 2K Sports did so much more with this game and improved it so greatly over last year's title is stunning. This isn't just the best basketball game ever; it's the best sports game of this generation."

Man, talk about hype.

I started a thread on this game in the sports forum after viewing this video of the game.

Seriously, I'm considering buying this game after having sat out of NBA games for the last 15 years. It's mesmerizing.

Aaron D. wrote:

Sheesh, after reading/watching IGN's NBA 2K11 review, I'm wondering if that should be Game of the Week.

"NBA 2K11 is a love letter to basketball fans...

The fact that 2K Sports did so much more with this game and improved it so greatly over last year's title is stunning. This isn't just the best basketball game ever; it's the best sports game of this generation."

Man, talk about hype.

Can I conjure flames from the ball and dunk from half court? Then it's not the best sports game of this generation. (-: Best sports "sim" maybe, but simulating reality is inherently inferior to improving on it in my book. Same reason I'll always take an Unreal Tournament or a Gears of War over a Call of Duty or Medal of Honor.

Jayhawker wrote:

BTW, as I get back on topic, what was it about the Enslaved demo that ha people so excited? The premise of the gameplay and story are pretty cool, but the execution was horrid. The controls felt sluggish and inexact, and the main character is a buffoon that I'm not sure I can endure for an entire game. The combat is stiff, and nowhere near as engaging as Batman: AA.

The quality of the voice acting leads me to believe we'll see more depth to the characters than what we got in the demo, which seemed to practically be a prologue to the real game. It is really beautiful once you get outside the aircraft. The sound is great, which probably seems dumb but I've come to realize that music and sound does even more to help immerse me than graphics (it just does so more subtly).

It lead me to believe much of what I read in the Kotaku review: this is one of those games that is less about gameplay. The combat and puzzles just slow you down while you soak in the world and the story. I can totally understand why that sounds terrible to some players, but I'm the kind of person who generally prefers turn-based JRPGs, so the things they are doing right are the things I care about a lot more than well-executed combat. I button-mashed my way through most of Bayonetta, even on Hard difficulty, so well-done combat is lost on me anyway.

Jayhawker wrote:

BTW, as I get back on topic, what was it about the Enslaved demo that ha people so excited? The premise of the gameplay and story are pretty cool, but the execution was horrid. The controls felt sluggish and inexact, and the main character is a buffoon that I'm not sure I can endure for an entire game. The combat is stiff, and nowhere near as engaging as Batman: AA.

I will admit that the girl is hot, and they have written and animated her in a way that is very seductive. But the demo pretty much turned this into a rental, at best.

Weird, I agree on the controls - but I like Monkey, and think the writing is good. I don't get the buffoon vibe at all. I am really enjoying the premise/execution of the story and characters.

I dunno. I bought 2k10 for PC, since that's the only game in town for PC. And boy did we get dumped on for the patch waiting until Jan/Feb or so. Buggy game, still not fixed. And yet, I was mesmerized with the "My Player" mode and spent 3 full seasons playing as my alter-egos in the guise of a SG and C for two different teams.

I would have popped on 2k11 if Amazon had had a credit deal on the PC version but they didn't. So I will wait for a sale... and probably news of a PC patch... and maybe some more reviews. I want it, especially with Jordan. But I felt so burned last year, the way the PC customers were treated. Ah well.

I was looking forward to NBA Jam Wii when it was the only NBA Jam coming. Now I know there are other versions, and I expect the Wii one to be discounted pretty soon after those come out. $50 is a lot to pay for nostalgia. I think I'll just be picking it up on sale in a month or two.