May 9 - May 13

We enter that time of year where as often as not the release list is dominated by movie tie-in gaming, often of questionable quality. And, enthusiastic as I've been over the years toward LEGO games, I may be reaching critical mass on my capacity for caring about them anymore. Correction, actually, I may be well past that line.

For as good a game as the most recent LEGO Star Wars game seemed to be -- and it was good though definitely not great -- even my seven year-old son seemed lukewarm on the whole matter. The other day I saw him load LEGO Indiana Jones back into the 360, and there was a notable increase in the joy quotient compared to his lackadaisical play of Clone Wars, and that pretty much told me all I needed to know about where the franchise has gone. So, the release of a Pirates of the Caribbean version of the game, and likely all future iterations for the time being, is finally irrelevant to me.

No matter though, because I've found myself in something of a gaming renaissance lately, happily playing away at some old and new favorites. I'm back into the Starcraft II laddering game, and even plugging away with some of the recent Civilization V DLC. I also picked up a convenient little time waster called Dwarfs?! this past week and found my way, quite happily, into the Age of Empires Online beta, which has so far been a pleasant experience that seems positively designed for my current manias.

This week, Brink looks really intriguing and seems like the kind of game that could sink deep hooks into me if it catches me just the right way. I realize in this metaphor I'm little more than a mindless fish in the ocean waiting to bite deep on that metal hook that drags me to my inevitable doom, but I can accept that. Anyway, Brink picks up my GotW honors.

Also this week: Virtua Tennis 4, Hydrophobia hits the PC and of all things MDK2 hits WiiWare.

PC
- Brink
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
- The First Templar

Xbox 360
- Brink
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
- MX vs. ATV Alive
- The First Templar
- Virtua Tennis 4

PlayStation 3
- Brink
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
- MX vs. ATV Alive
- Virtua Tennis 4

Wii
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
- Virtua Tennis 4

Nintendo 3DS
- Dream Trigger 3D
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game

Nintendo DS
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
- Treasure Chase: Brainstorm Series
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2011: Over the Nexus

PSP
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game

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

Comments

Teehee, lukewarm on Star Wars.

Next week's gonna be a fun one. My money's on L.A. Noire getting the cover nod, but I could see The Witcher 2 stealing it away.

I like how within one hour on this site and on YouTube, Brink has gone from a non-starter in my eyes to a must-have. I hope it lives up to its potential. I love TF2, but I need something different.

Thanks to the Steam EA sales, I picked up Dead Space 2, Crysis 1, and Medal of Honor. That and my replay of Dragon Age Origins should keep me fairly busy until Duke Nukem Forever.

Teehee, lukewarm on Star Wars.

Yay! Someone got that.

My money's on L.A. Noire getting the cover nod, but I could see The Witcher 2 stealing it away.

This is entirely dependent on whether or not Shawn muscles me out of the way for the week. Try as I might, I've never gotten into The Witcher.

Elysium wrote:
My money's on L.A. Noire getting the cover nod, but I could see The Witcher 2 stealing it away.

This is entirely dependent on whether or not Shawn muscles me out of the way for the week. Try as I might, I've never gotten into The Witcher.

Yeah, I immediately thought back to 2 years ago and remembered what you thought of the original. Of course, only the first line is relevant in that link. The rest is setting up the next catastrophe.

Elysium wrote:
Teehee, lukewarm on Star Wars.

Yay! Someone got that.

My money's on L.A. Noire getting the cover nod, but I could see The Witcher 2 stealing it away.

This is entirely dependent on whether or not Shawn muscles me out of the way for the week. Try as I might, I've never gotten into The Witcher.

I am super pumped for L.A. Noire. Can't wait!

That's sort of a neat cover on Brink. I still have no idea what it is, though.

Clearly it's a skateboarding game.

Parkour! Parkour! Parkour!

wordsmythe wrote:

That's sort of a neat cover on Brink. I still have no idea what it is, though.

It's a team-based first-person shooter similar to Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, but with an auto-traversal function. Point in the direction you want to go, run and press the parkour button, and your guy will jump and duck and slide and climb and mantle as necessary to get you there.

Hans

I'm gonna admit, I'm kinda interested in Lego: Pirates of the Carribean. The boys and I have enjoyed the movies together. We lean towards ninja allegiance but pirates are a fun fresh theme. All 4 movies in one title seems like a better deal content wise than the original Indy title. And, LEGOs are still a major hobby of the kids. I know what to expect from a LEGOs game, but it was nice there was a demo to check out.

So why not let the kids roleplay a burnt out rocker inspired staggeringly drunkard LEGO Johnny Depp pirate? Actually, I'll be Capt Sparrow, they can be supporting cast.

I'm thinking it might be time to apply some of my Amazon promotional credit.

Irongut sidenote: Supposedly if I follow certain branches of my mom's family tree, they were pirates out of Scotland. It's in me blood.

hidannik wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

That's sort of a neat cover on Brink. I still have no idea what it is, though.

It's a team-based first-person shooter similar to Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, but with an auto-traversal function. Point in the direction you want to go, run and press the parkour button, and your guy will jump and duck and slide and climb and mantle as necessary to get you there.

Hans

Thanks!

Just to 2nd the Brink choice. Here's the catch-all.

Steam group info in that thread, and we should have a server up for the PC version tomorrow, thanks to jakeleg.

My money's on L.A. Noire getting the cover nod, but I could see The Witcher 2 stealing it away.

This is entirely dependent on whether or not Shawn muscles me out of the way for the week. Try as I might, I've never gotten into The Witcher.

I'm planning on staring at you creepily until you make Witcher 2 Game of The Week.

Irongut wrote:

Irongut sidenote: Supposedly if I follow certain branches of my mom's family tree, they were pirates out of Scotland. It's in me blood.

Scottish pirates? I think that's possibly the most awesome thing ever!

Mine were Scotch Irish in the Caribbean. Then they settled down as goat thieves in northern Mexico.

Dignity!

I'm super excited for Lego Pirates.

wordsmythe wrote:

Mine were Scotch Irish in the Caribbean. Then they settled down as goat thieves in northern Mexico.

Dignity!

Heh. My family is Scottish too; they were actually merchant traders. Involved in the opium trade. Then the family fleet sank in a typhoon in the Indian ocean. Then they became farmers.

When people ask about my family tree I tell them we were drug dealers.

I'd really been looking forward to Brink but the reviews so far have been pretty harsh.

I like this look from Stephen Totilo at Kotaku that takes you through a mission and gives you an idea of what to expect from the game: http://kotaku.com/5800183/in-10-minu...

EDIT: And here's Kotaku's collection of the early reviews, complete with links to the full thing: http://kotaku.com/5800376/brink-teet...

All the bad reviews are of the console versions. Actually, the 360 version.

PC and PS3 reviews are currently 70 out of 100, and above.

Stele, I'm not sure your post really tells the full story. The PS3 link leads to a 77 based on six reviews while the 360 link you provided leads to a 70 based on 36 reviews. I have a feeling it's just the copy most sites reviewed and not that the PS3 version is superior. If you've read anything to the contrary, though, I'm sure it'd be worth sharing. The 360 version is also probably the only console version reviewers could take online, which seems like a huge component of the game.

The Sixth Axis, a PS3 review site, even leads with this, "Looking for a deep and meaningful single player story? Then step away. Looking for an intense online shooter with more guns than Texas? Come on in, the water's fine." They might want to mention that it could be weeks before you're able to play online. But I'm not trying to bash the game, I'd been anxiously waiting for Brink for more than a year. I find it disconcerting that a lot of top-level, mainstream sites are mentioning that the game feels incomplete, unbalanced, repetitive and rushed in many respects. I've certainly cooled on picking it up and will pass unless I hear of a strong community springing up around it. Right now it sounds similar to the reaction Shadowrun got when it dropped a few years ago.

The PC link currently leads to a Metacritic listing of an overall TBD score based on two critics.

No doubt, I'm not necessarily saying the PS3 version is better. It's more likely the 360 one is just the one most reviewers reviewed.

But I think the PC version is probably light years ahead of either console version, and the preferred place to play. Especially with dedicated servers, and as always the possibility of mods. I think this might be a Team Fortress 2 all over again.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Teehee, lukewarm on Star Wars.

As opposed to owentoast?

While Lego:PotC has my interest, the formula does seem to be overstaying its welcome. Plus, I'm not sure my 5yo has seen the movies. Maybe Lego (her second favorite pastime) will ease her in to the scary bits.

And -- I kind of want to see the Lego Kraken.

My son and I played the demo for PotC on the 360 three times so far (payday can't arrive fast enough) and just judging by the one level they let you play it seems like a much better game than previous iterations. Being able to choose any character in any level is a nice touch. I don't know if it's because we've played all the LEGO games on the Wii, but, boy does it look fancy on the 360. Such a huge difference.