August 29 - September 2
Having finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution -- let it never be said that there aren't advantages to convalescence -- I enter this week on a kind of gaming high. Now all I have to do is maintain that kind of pace, a complete game a week, throughout September, October and November and I should be fine.
Last year I was very vocal about abandoning the Madden franchise and saving my precious shekels for something far more deserving, like a case of bacon or a bucket of drywall repair. This year, I come to the end of August with no such claims. I've already come to a kind of shameful peace with myself that what I really want is just to plow through a simulated NFL season with my Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Maybe next year I can pretend to be all superior again, but for this year Madden 12 is my game of the week.
I had fully expected that this week would be all about Tropico 4 to me, but a disappointing demo and the troubling sense that this is nothing but Tropico 3 with a veneer finish. You should feel free to soak in the irony of my complaining that a sequel is basically just the previously released version repackaged hot on the heels of a paragraph about buying Madden, and I'll probably still pick up Tropico 4 down the line but for now it's a somewhat disappointing pass for me.
But, if neither of those games flips your trigger, this week does hold a potential dark horse game for the fall, particularly if you are a fan of rampant action. Bodycount on the 360 and PS3 should be considered the spiritual successor, if such a thing were truly deserved, of EA's Black. Following in the footsteps of something like Bulletstorm, this appears to be a title that revels in its destructive capacity without ever taking itself too seriously and never forgetting that the one reason you're here is to make things blow'd up real good.