July 25th to 31st

I've been informed by my lovely wife that when the Dragon Age II - Legacy DLC drops this week I shouldn't expect to see her for a while. I wouldn't dream of trying to distract her from #naughtyhawkthoughts. Instead, I'll quietly head downstairs and play From Dust, the next Summer of Arcade title on XBLA. Listed at $15, From Dust looks like something I would like, but I don't know much about it aside from the fact that you play as some kind of god, there's little people to order about and volcanos. I'm willing to take a flier on that kind of scenario. Especially since it's also coming out on the PC this week for the same price. (update: Ubisoft just delayed the PC release date to August 17th)

Atlas is also bringing Catherine to North American shelves. From the same developers behind the Persona series, Catherine appears to be a freaky, adult story about relationships interspersed with gameplay built around a sort of dexterity-based tower climbing puzzle. I'd like to make it my pick for the week, but the demo left me confused and less interested in the full release. We'll wait and see how that puzzle game changes as you go and how much input I have in the rest of the game.

So there you have it! Not a whole lot else going on this week and we still have a ways to go before things pick up. Keep digging through your pile!

PC

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation DLC
Dragon Age II Legacy DLC
From Dust
Hacker Evolution Duality
The Sims 3: Town Life Stuff

Xbox 360

Catherine
Dragon Age II - Legacy
From Dust
Black Ops - Annihilation

PS3

Catherine
Dragon Age II - Legacy
Black Ops - Annihilation

Nintendo DS/3DS

Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions

Comments

Yeah a little confused about exactly what Catherine is. I love SMT/Persona games. But I don't know what to think of that one...

Got it. Devil May Cry 4 it is.

You chose From Dust over Catherine just so it'd be another downloadable title.

garion333 wrote:

You chose From Dust over Catherine just so it'd be another downloadable title. ;)

At least this week it does actually make sense. From Dust looks pretty amazing. Catherine looks a little out there to be the GOTW for the masses.

I saw at nohighscores.com they were talking about the creeping price of new games on XBLA, from 800 to 1200. But the quality of the games have really taken off this last year. The games going to 1200 seem to be darn near $60 level in terms of quality.

So games like Bastion and From Dust is what we get for our extra space bucks, I'm okay with that.

I'll be playing Catherine soon. It makes no sense and looks very weird. That's a big selling point for me.

From Dust PC on August 17th? Thanks Ubisoft...

Scratched wrote:

From Dust PC on August 17th? Thanks Ubisoft...

Nooo! Was really looking forward to this, especially since I'm waiting for the PC release of Bastion as well.

Oh well, time to finish up GTA IV Liberty City Stories and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Crippling, game-killing DRM does take some time to implement.

Booooooooo!

Jerks!

The PC is dead. Long live the PC!

I've been craving something a bit unusual, a bracing Scotch of a video game, so I was excited by Catherine. The demo, though, seemed to suggest a huge disconnect between the story and the gameplay, and the gameplay seemed like it might be awfully repetitive. I kind of hope someone changes my mind, but I may have to pass.

Count me among the people not impressed by the Catherine demo. I was super interested in it, back when we only knew a little bit about the story, and nothing about how it would play. The text message stuff was kind of interesting I guess, but I don't want to play 10 hours of that tower climbing thing, which sounds like it is the bulk of the game. There is a reason that kind of thing is typically relegated to a mini-game.

No love for Catherine? Son, I am disappoint.

Seriously though, try and divorce your opinion of a Persona game as a whole from your experience of the first 30 minutes of it. Had you only played an hour of Persona 3 or 4, wouldn't you be just as WTF about it as Catherine? Yet those proved to be phenomenal games (unless you're one of those soulless Cybermen who thinks headshotting Stereotypical Vaguely-Ethnic Villian #743 to be the pinnacle of game design). The demo for Catherine left me scratching my head just as much as you, most likely, but given their track record I think it's safer to assume it's some crazy setup for an amazing game.

As far as repetitive gameplay goes, climbing Tartarus or fighting the mist seemed pretty damn repetitive at first, as well, but they seem to be able to manage just enough twists and wrinkles that it never actually wore too badly.

I still like the concept, but the demo put me in a wait and see state. You're definitely right about Persona being a slow burn, but I'll let someone else confirm that's the case this time too.

Certis wrote:

I still like the concept, but the demo put me in a wait and see state. You're definitely right about Persona being a slow burn, but I'll let someone else confirm that's the case this time too.

Elysium got some time on his hands, right? Get him on this. I can't wait to read his impressions of this game. It might be worth paying for.

Certis wrote:

I still like the concept, but the demo put me in a wait and see state. You're definitely right about Persona being a slow burn, but I'll let someone else confirm that's the case this time too.

Well, I pre-ordered it, so I'll let you know. I'm probably not the most unbiased sample, though.

Jayhawker wrote:

Elysium got some time on his hands, right? Get him on this. I can't wait to read his impressions of this game. It might be worth paying for.

+1, would read again. Another TWEWY?

You just got called out on Twitter for your Memery, Minarchist. Dissapointing

Minarchist wrote:
Certis wrote:

I still like the concept, but the demo put me in a wait and see state. You're definitely right about Persona being a slow burn, but I'll let someone else confirm that's the case this time too.

Well, I pre-ordered it, so I'll let you know. I'm probably not the most unbiased sample, though. :-)

Like I said, I'll also be playing it after the first of the month. I'm not familiar with the Persona games, so I won't be able to make comparisons there, but I am biased in favor of weird.

Really, at its heart Catherine looks like a puzzle game. The story ties into that, of course, but the basic gameplay looks like a really hard block puzzle game. I'm sure they'll evolve the block puzzles with different kinds of blocks that change the way you'll move through the level; I've already seen things like slippery ice blocks mentioned in reviews. A better comparison than Persona might then be to something like Peggle or even Portal. If you have only played the first few levels of those, it would be hard to see how they could remain interesting over the course of a full length game.

The only thing that makes me hesitant with Catherine is not that the game looks strange or like the gameplay will become repetitive (I hope for the former and doubt the latter) but that it's supposedly really, really hard even on easy, even in its toned-down North American form. I'd hate to get the game and simply be unable to finish it.

Bullion Cube wrote:

You just got called out on Twitter for your Memery, Minarchist. Dissapointing :-?

Yeah, that sounded weird...I meant that I'd read Sean's writing on the topic of insane Japanese games again. It didn't parse very well.

I do hope it's not too hard. From what I understand they even dumbed-down the "super easy" mode, so we'll see. If nothing else, the puzzles don't change each time (to my knowledge) so after a few deaths it comes down to execution.

LarryC wrote:

Crippling, game-killing DRM does take some time to implement.

Bazinga!

Isn't it Atlus, not Atlas?

From Dust looks great. Between this and Bastion it's turning into a terrific summer of arcade. Too bad I can't afford anything at the moment!

Catherine/Katherine....I think I'll watch on youtube and skip the Q-bert gameplay.

Catherine, like Shadows of the Damned before it will be $20 - $40 in months. I'll take a look then.

Catherine demo was like playing an interactive movie, I was just swept up in it. Atlus is some cool peeps.

I watched a stream of Bioware at SDCC... they made the DLC look... interesting. Later, after my caffeine buzz wore off... I remembered... it's the new "Bioware".

Meh.

Seems I heard they are "stream-lining" good old ME3 too... same kind of news like when you get a call from a loved one that asks if you really needed that box of old games in the basement... there was a bit of a fire.... sorry.

Jayhawker wrote:
Certis wrote:

I still like the concept, but the demo put me in a wait and see state. You're definitely right about Persona being a slow burn, but I'll let someone else confirm that's the case this time too.

Elysium got some time on his hands, right? Get him on this. I can't wait to read his impressions of this game. It might be worth paying for.

Do you want to kill him? :p

Worth a try, I'd read that.

Catherine seems to be getting some heat over its questionable marketing campaign. I have nothing against racy advertisements, but some of the ones I have seen do seem very much out of place.

From the demo, this game seems to be a strange puzzle game with a story about dreams. Maybe the developers think a game like this is too strange to have mainstream appeal, so they are using the arguably out of place advertising to get attention. I worry they may be cheapening the game in doing so. I hope the game does well though.

The DA2 DLC is well timed, as I just started a third play-through. This will be my first time as a male Hawke, so Anders and Fenris better watch their asses.

DSGamer wrote:

Catherine, like Shadows of the Damned before it will be $20 - $40 in months. I'll take a look then.

Bazinga!

$30 is my new jumping in price-point to take a punt on games I'm unsure will tickle my happy-spot.

Also, thanks for reminding me to keep an eye on the price of Shadows of the Damned