June 13 - June 18

I presume you've had your fill of flying pigs and cold days in Hades jokes at this point, so let me sum up with all the pomp and enthusiasm of a third-grader practicing fanfare on a coronet: Duke Nukem is being released this week. There, thank Odin that's over with. Let's never talk about it again.

I just can't bring myself to promote Duke's inauspicious return as Game of the Week. Not just because it is an old and feeble joke at this point, but more specifically because every indication is that it's a terrible game to boot. Surprise, you shall not be my companion today. I'm sure it would be reasonable to complain that it's not getting an entirely fair shake at this point, but my capacity for sympathy is disturbingly low. I feel that dropping even pocket change on the game at this point would be like paying for a spot on the side of the road to watch ambulances clean up after an accident. I think instead I'll just drive past and tell the kids not to look.

No worries, though, because there's plenty else to talk about. American McGee appears to be trying to slink back quietly onto the shelves under the cover of Duke with a sequel to Alice. Could be worth a passing glance, but frankly it would have a lot to prove as well. No, the best bet for my money this week is probably Magic: The Gathering -- Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012.

A lot of negative things could be said for the first Duels of the Planeswalkers, particularly if you are an experienced M:TG player who finds as much pleasure from building and modifying a deck as actually playing the game. But, for an introduction to the long-standing series, Duels actually did a fine job, and I got a decent number of hours out of the experience. I am at least genuinely curious to see what improvements have been brought to the new version, and that's something I can't begin to say about the other two games I've mentioned this week. For that reason, Duels 2012 gets my nod for GotW.

That said, Child of Eden also releases this week on the 360. And if Justin McElroy is a person whose opinion you take seriously—which you should—and if you have a Kinect, then this may very well be a title you should not miss. And finally, Ocarina of Time comes to the 3DS.

PC
- Alice: Madness Returns
- Duke Nukem Forever

Xbox 360
- Alice: Madness Returns
- Child of Eden
- Duke Nukem Forever
- Magic 2012
- Record of Agarest War Zero
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon
- Wipeout: In the Zone

PlayStation 3
- Alice: Madness Returns
- Duke Nukem Forever
- Record of Agarest War Zero
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Wii
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon

3DS
- Cubic Ninja
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon

DS
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Comments

I've pre-ordered Magic on Steam, and Duke is tempting, even if only for the historical value.

Alice looks interesting, too.

re: Duke. As someone who's played it to completion I would say that , at BEST, you should wait for a Steam sale/price drop. There's maybe half a Duke Nukem game there, but everything after the halfway point is overly dark (in terms of light level) generic metal-corridor/warehouse filler that you can barely navigate without the horrible blue "duke vision".

The bit that DOES feel like a Duke Nukem game isn't very good but it does have a few nice minigames (pool, pinball and things to fiddle with) but again - that all vanishes in the second half of the game completely. LOT of 1st person jumping puzzles as well. Also - two weapons at once is just a stupid decision in a game where you want to play around with stuff like the freeze ray, etc.

The 360 version has been in for a particularly heavy slagging from a technical viewpoint as well.

That said, I'm all over Alice and Ocarina 3DS this week.

Speaking as someone who played MtG Duels of the Plainswalkers, it's a great game, as long as you don't approach it from the vantage point of a traditional MtG experience. The collecting and deck building aspects are all but completely stripped, yes, but the upside to this is that it's a really fast playing, streamlined version of the experience. It was specifically designed to get new people into the game, and I think it does a great job of that. My wife actually started playing paper MtG with me because of it, so clearly they're doing something right.

I also really liked the challenges where you had to figure out how to kill the opponent in one turn given the resources available on the board and your hand. It's basically a digital throwback to the old Magic The Puzzling column that Mark Rosewater used to make for The Duelist magazine back in the day. Very fun. The 2012 version looks to address any minor issues we had with the first one, as well as adding some new modes. I'm particularly excited about the Archenemy game type being supported. It's a cooperative mode where you team up to take down a more powerful AI opponent, based on the Archenemy multiplayer format recently introduced in the paper game, complete with Scheme cards and all. My wife and I will get some fun out of that.

I'll definitely be waiting for (at least) a 50% off sale before getting DNF, if I get it at all.

Random thought (before the original post is edited): You would think that the game chosen as GotW would be listed and/or linked to at the bottom with all the other games releasing this week. Not that I'm interested in it at all (I'm not). I just noticed that it was curiously absent.

MeatMan wrote:

I'll definitely be waiting for (at least) a 50% off sale before getting DNF, if I get it at all.

Random thought (before the original post is edited): You would think that the game chosen as GotW would be listed and/or linked to at the bottom with all the other games releasing this week. Not that I'm interested in it at all (I'm not). I just noticed that it was curiously absent.

Who says that the GotW is actually coming out?

Absolutely baffled, offended, and appalled that Child of Eden did not earn this week's arbitrary and completely meaningless bestowal of approval and honor from our distinguished committee. You are stupid AND wrong, sir!

(Kidding aside, I can buy that MTG:DotP was a nice set of training wheels for Magic, but what improvements have been announced for DotP 2012, exactly? It seems to be a sports-game-esque iteration on the first game, with "new decks" literally standing as the analogue for "new teams" in the Madden paradigm.)

The best improvement I can see with Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 is the ability to remove cards from the pre-built decks rather than just adding to unlocked cards to them. It's a minor tweak, but it's a nice addition. But otherwise, the sports game analogy isn't a bad one. I hear this game implements awesome realistic ragdoll tapping animations, too.

MeatMan wrote:

Random thought (before the original post is edited): You would think that the game chosen as GotW would be listed and/or linked to at the bottom with all the other games releasing this week. Not that I'm interested in it at all (I'm not). I just noticed that it was curiously absent.

I think that's because it's a download. I can try and find an XBL link, though.

Elysium, I am saddened that you didn't plaster DNF on the front page. You know, for historical reasons.

Anyway, Clockwork will let us know how Record of Agarest War Zero is since he's into scantily clad anime chicks.

garion333 wrote:

Anyway, Clockwork will let us know how Record of Agarest War Zero is since he's into scantily clad anime chicks.

As long as it's not fun, I'll enjoy it.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Anyway, Clockwork will let us know how Record of Agarest War Zero is since he's into scantily clad anime chicks.

As long as it's not fun, I'll enjoy it.

They traded fun for nudity. It's up your alley.

I wake up this morning to find it's 2012 already? But I had so much living to do before the Apocalypse. So much left undone. So many things left unsaid.

Child Of Eden! I'm ready for my mind bending synesthesia experience of colors, beats and vibrations. Woooooooo!

BNice wrote:

I'm ready for my mind bending synesthesia experience of colors, beats and vibrations.

And then when he gets back from seeing his dominatrix while tripping on 'shrooms, he's going to play Child of Eden!

Giant Bomb has a Quick Look up for DNF now. I am now officially cured of any desire to ever play it, ever. Those fine young gentlemen at GB are doing God's work.