April 25 - April 29

If you're in the mood to keep some money in your wallet, or just do like I've been doing and go back through Portal 2 to listen to the developer commentary, then this week is your kind of week. This is one of those rare weeks where even the shovelware companies just decided it was too nice a spring day to stay cooped up inside making really crappy games for grandparents to buy for disappointed kids.

That said, Darkspore does launch this week and is the kind of game you might just want to glance at if you're looking for an action RPG to carry you to Dungeon Siege III, Torchlight II or Diablo III. I played Darkspore at PAX Prime last year and walked away curious. I played it again during an open beta earlier this year and remained curious.

It's not the kind of game I'm wholly prepared to endorse, and given my low standards for wholehearted endorsement that means something, but I did like the character development and gameplay mechanics. It's a little (read: painfully) dull on the environment front, but on the fly switching between three characters depending on the needs of the situation adds a lot of flavor into the standard RPG Kool-Aid. And, the Spore engine provides a high degree of character customization. If you can find a friend to run some "dungeons" with you, then all the better.

I'm not saying rush out and buy it. I'm just saying, if you've got money burning a hole in your pocket, for a slow week it might be worth a passing glance.

On the digital download front, however, things are a little less quiet with the release of Outland. Cool artwork and platformery Ikaruga-style gameplay has earned it some pretty positive pre-release buzz.


- Art of Murder: Deadly Secrets
- Chronicles of Mystery: Secret of the Lost Kingdom
- Darkspore

- Yup, that's it.

Coming Soon:

L.A. Noire -- May 17 -- 360, PS3
The Witcher 2 -- May 17 -- PC
Red Faction: Armageddon -- May 31 -- 360, PS3, PC
Duke Nukem Forever -- June 14 -- 360, PS3, PC
Dungeon Siege II -- June 21 -- PC, 360, PS3


PC ftw?

I kinda liked Spore up until the civ stage. I'm tempted by this darkening.

Heh. Dungeon Siege III, you know. Dungeon Siege II is a bit old.

Played the Darkspore beta and while it had some interesting concepts, the game felt like it had never moved beyond the concept phase. Gameplay and long-lasting appeal (which I want in a Diablo-style game) seemed to be missing so far.
Still it is one of those games where I'll be following the patch progress and customer impressions... and then probably buy it on Steam for $5 in December

Dungeon Siege II? I beat that years ago. Copy and paste fail, it seems.

I am glad I am not alone on Darkspore. I played the beta and went away curious to see more, but ultimately not terribly impressed. Switching between characters was actually more frustrating than anything. I much prefer focusing my efforts on building one character in this type of game.

A slow week is fine by me. It gives me time to catch up on my backlog. I did manage to finish Crysis 2, and while it was great, it was not 60 dollars great. 40 dollars would have been perfect.

Coming Soon(er than those other games)
Brink -- May 10

So is Darkspore kind of like Trine or the old The Lost Vikings but with more teen angst?