November 21 - November 26

And, just like that. It's basically over.

Oh, there are still a smattering of notable titles to hit the shelves, and the one really high-profile release of Star Wars The Old Republic just days before Christmas, but really most of the games left are either artificially delayed PC games from Ubisoft or also-rans.

Frankly, I'm kind of grateful. It's been a long season, and I've got enough games to play to last me a lifetime, or at least until Diablo 3 releases, whichever happens first. My cup runneth over and I have drunk deep from its overflowing bounty, but now my thirst is slaked. Once I've put in my 60 or 80 hours of Skyrim (I'm just shy of 40 to date), I've got plenty of games waiting to get the attention they so richly deserve.

I'm just going to call it, this has been the best season for video game releases since 2007; a year in which we saw: Assassin's Creed, Halo 3, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Mass Effect, Rock Band, Crysis, Super Mario Galaxy, Quake Wars, CoD 4: Modern Warfare & Bioshock. That, by the way, was a pretty amazing year, in part because of how many of those games are original IPs.

This week's Game of the Week, in what I think of as a move to stave off open revolution, is Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Actually, that's a pretty easy choice.

PC:
- Batman: Arkham City
- Bronco X
- Magicka Collection
- Serious Sam 3: BFE
- The Sims Medieval Deluxe Edition

Xbox 360:
- Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL
- Hole in the Wall: Deluxe Edition (Kinect)
- Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 3
- The King of Fighters XIII
- National Geographic Challenge!
- WWE '12
- Defenders of Ardania (Xbox Live Arcade)

PlayStation 3:
- Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL
- The King of Fighters XIII
- Tekken Hybrid
- WWE '12
- Defenders of Ardania (PSN)
- Final Fantasy V (PSN)

Nintendo Wii:
- Fishing Resort
- Get Up and Dance
- JAWS: Ultimate Predator
- Jimmie Johnson's Anything With an Engine
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- National Geographic Challenge!
- Power Rangers Samurai
- WWE '12

Nintendo 3DS:
- Carnival Games: Wild West 3D
- F1 2011
- Face Racers: Photo Finish
- Nano Assault
- Sonic Generations
- WWE All Stars

Nintendo DS:
- Power Rangers Samurai
- Tsumiki: Block Drop Mania

PSP:
- Corpse Party

Comments

I'd add World in Conflict in that list of 2007 releases, too.

Can't wait to get Skyward Sword, but I've got a birthday and Christmas coming and a big pile, so I'll have to wait to see it until then.

Skyward Sword is more than worthy of what little honor we can bestow.

Though I'm probably going to end up picking up King of Fighters VIII and Final Fantasy V too.

Our Wii bit the dust some time ago, but I knew this day was coming. We are going to end up buying a Wii and SS for our daughter for Christmas. She's deep enough into Fable II and now AC: Revelations to keep her until the end of the year. But make no mistake, my daughter is not a gamer without Zelda.

The problem is, we will in all likelihood pick up a Wii U at launch. It kills me to be buying a Wii for a few months, but I'm not sure I can stave her off it launches.

And I'm going to say this year has been even better than 2007.

I'll give a nod to XSeed bringing over Corpse Party. Perhaps not as "fun" as the name would suggest, it's an adventure game where you explore a school trying to determine how four students were killed. It's more akin to 999 for the DS or a "Choose your own adventure" book than anything else. Could be interesting. Could be crap. Will I pony up for it? We'll see.

Skyward Sword for now. BFE was pre-ordered a while ago but I don't see myself starting that until 2012.

Amusingly, looking at the 2007 list....

Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Halo: Anniversary, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Crysis 2, Super Mario 3D Land, Brink, CoD: Modern Warfare 3. O_o

All that's missing is Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock Infinite. You could also make a case for Dance Central 2 as a successor to RB.

Overall, I think this year started out weak and ended on a high note. I'm looking at my Backloggery and I don't see any major purchases until April (Portal 2). This might be skewed due to my Wii/PC/(3)DS setup though.

Elysium wrote:

This week's Game of the Week, in what I think of as a move to stave off open revolution, is Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

You're a much nicer person that I am. My sense of humour is such that I would have given game of the week to Serious Sam 3, and then sat back in the warm glow of fanboys exploding in rage.

Actually, Serious Sam is pretty awesome, if the old-school FPS is what you're after.

momgamer wrote:

Actually, Serious Sam is pretty awesome, if the old-school FPS is what you're after.

Played the first one and went from loving it, to really enjoying it, to being ok with it, to wanting to be done, to never wanting to play again by the time I finished. Oh well.

Corpse Party sounds like a few design elements away from the most disturbing dating sim ever.

Looks like I'm going to get King of Fighters XIII tomorrow

... and loading Batman on Steam as we speak!

interstate78 wrote:

... and loading Batman on Steam as we speak! :D

"This game is released in approximately 2 days and 15 hours." I was hoping they released it sooner, but they are still keeping with 25th in Europe. Crap.

mrtomaytohead wrote:
momgamer wrote:

Actually, Serious Sam is pretty awesome, if the old-school FPS is what you're after.

Played the first one and went from loving it, to really enjoying it, to being ok with it, to wanting to be done, to never wanting to play again by the time I finished. Oh well.

I loved the first Serious Sam, even though I played it on my laptop using only the trackpad. I imagine it's only better with a proper mouse

The second encounter left me a bit cold, but that's probably because I played it almost immediately after finishing the first encounter. I never finished the second one.

Nothing for me this week. Skyrim and Saint's Row 3 are currently occupying my time, and Arkham City is coming for Christmas. I like the concept of Skyward Sword, but I can't really get into any long-form adventure game that you have to stand up to play, and I can't envision how I'd play Skyward Sword in my living room from the couch. I'm glad they finally came up with the swordplay game that we all hoped for back at launch, but sometimes the Wii is too clever by half.

Did you feel the same way about Twilight Princess? I found that easy to play from the couch. idle Thumbs even did a bit on that. I kind of expect SS to be the same.

Jayhawker wrote:

Did you feel the same way about Twilight Princess? I found that easy to play from the couch. idle Thumbs even did a bit on that. I kind of expect SS to be the same.

Never played Twilight Princess. Does it do the same 1:1 control thing that SS does?

I can play most of the Wii games in my library (Donkey Kong Country Returns, any game featuring Kirby, etc.) from the couch, but anything that requires a) pointing at the screen (like Super Mario Galaxy or Elebits) or b) attempts to approximate real life movements (like Wii Sports or Sports Resort) requires me to stand in front of my TV.

My situation isn't universal. I have a big living room-- like that fantasy living room the people who designed the Kinect think everyone has--, and a safety gate surrounding the TV to keep my kids from pulling it down on their heads. Sitting on the couch is either too far away for the sensor to detect the wiimote, or the gate obstructs the sensor and stops the pointer from working. (Yes, I realize I could glue the sensor to the top of my TV, but then it wouldn't be portable anymore.)

Then there's the question of holding my arms out in front of my and having to swat the wiimote around to attack things or the nunchuck around to block them. It sounds cool in concept, but in practice I can see it becoming pretty tiring, since even holding your bare hands out in front of you will cause muscle cramps no matter how great your guns are.

I'm probably missing the point. It wouldn't be the first time. The fact is I've never been a fan of Zelda games (INFIDEL!) and the new control scheme, while clever, doesn't really do anything to bring me in that direction.

TP was not 1:1. There was some pointing at the screen. I'm able to play games like SMG from the couch, but I have the exact opposite living room, hardly enough room to really use the Kinect.

But I'm with you on the controls. I actually preferred the controller for TP, having picked up a copy of the Gamecube version instead. I really don't like the idea of a waggle to take the place of a button press, personally. But i could totally sit with my arms to the side and just flick my way through the game, but felt more engaged with a controller that brought my hands together.

I just found the Wii game that forced me to get up to actually be pretty rare.

My girlfriend and I have been playing Skyward Sword from the couch. It's entirely possible to play it in full-on toolbox mode.

Twilight Princess mapped sword-fighting to shaking the remote, but only in the same way Super Mario Galaxy maps the spin-attack to shaking the remote. It was just a glorified button-press. It also required pointing at the screen to use stuff like the bow-and-arrow.

Skyward Sword does require you to move the remote how you want to attack, but it actually doesn't need very big movements. A flick of the wrist is really all it takes, although the bigger the motion the more accurate the on-screen movement, it seems. It's easy to play from my couch without the need for over-exaggerated movements , but it definitely helps when I'm sitting on the left side so I have plenty of room on my right.

When you're not fighting there's no need to hold the remote any specific way, so if you want to drop your arm and let it rest, that's no problem. Link mirrors the way you hold the remote so you can have whatever ready stance you want in between battles. Mine is waving the sword around and screaming like a lunatic.

It doesn't use the pointer at all. The on-screen pointer is controlled by the MotionPlus, so twisting the remote moves the cursor around and D-Pad's down centers the on-screen cursor. As much as I love the pointer in past games, including Twilight Princess (it's the one reason I prefer the Wii version to the Gamecube version), I find this actually works a lot better and is a lot more comfortable.

I'm not very far at all into the game (just about to go to the surface for the first time) but Skyward Sword's 1:1 sword-fighting seems pretty great so far. It feels incredibly accurate, although I'm not entirely used to it yet. Whenever I get surrounded by bats, I go retarded and just start shaking the remote like crazy and wondering why Link isn't attacking before I remember that the remote-shaking isn't just a replacement for a button press any more. It only took 5 years and a more accurate controller, but Nintendo has finally created a "hardcore" experience that seems to really deliver on the promise of motion controls, all without sacrificing the ability to play comfortably from the couch.

Maybe I'm just really really really jaded, but I hardly feel this year matches 2007. Whereas 2007 was a bunch of must-haves (you forgot Metroid Prime 3, by the way), this year has me looking at so many Sept-Dec games and thinking "Later...later....later..."

Though some of the Black Friday sales do have me tempted. Quite a few new-ish games at $30. Unfortunately, the number of good games at good sale prices are rare.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Yes, I realize I could glue the sensor to the top of my TV, but then it wouldn't be portable anymore.

A couple tabs of sticky-back Vel-Cro will solve that for you.

wanderingtaoist wrote:
interstate78 wrote:

... and loading Batman on Steam as we speak! :D

"This game is released in approximately 2 days and 15 hours." I was hoping they released it sooner, but they are still keeping with 25th in Europe. Crap.

If it makes you feel better, it's a 16gb download. I didn't play last night

Defenders of Ardania? Is that like "We wanted to call it Defenders of Arcania but that title was already copyrighted so we just went to the next letter in the alphabet"?

Dunno what you guys are talking about. Twilight Princess was a Gamecube game.

Punch Time Explosion XL amounts to Cartoon Network's Smash Bros.

wordsmythe wrote:

Punch Time Explosion XL amounts to Cartoon Network's Smash Bros

TMNT Smash Up was the same for that universe. Why did ya bring it up? It looks like a poor representation of a clone.

I like the name. I didn't realize "XL" meant that it was the console sequel to a handheld title.

They did something like that on the PS2. It wasn't bad.

No love for Nano Assault?
It's been delayed of course, but it's by Shin'en, the ones who made Nanostray 1 & 2 for DS (which were great) and Iridion series for GBA (although the one Iridion game I played was sh*te).