February 6 – February 10

Aaaaand, we're back!

It's been a while since I could go into this weekly update without wondering how I was going to manage to fill three to four paragraphs with words. And, let me tell you, if you've ever got me wondering how to BS through 300 words of content, then you have found an especially dark void of activity. You're usually lucky if I don't drop 300 words in the description field of a personal check.

For my money, this week, I'm going with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, because when it comes to creating epic role playing action, I think of Hall of Fame MLB pitchers. All kidding aside, I've been intrigued with this game for a while, and not just because of the Day 1 DLC flap, but really from the moment someone said it was going to be like God of War meets Oblivion. As far as strong pitches for my interest go, that's pretty much the skyrocketing over my bar for success.

I also really want to be interested in Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, but so far I'm just not confident in what I've seen. I love games like X-Com, Fallout Tactics and Silent Storm when done really well, and I'm hopeful that my gut feeling on Jagged Alliance is off base.

As if that weren't enough, The Darkness II comes out for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 this week alongside Resident Evil: Revelations on the 3DS and Gotham City Imposters on XBLA, PSN and PC. So, welcome back video game industry from your too long slumber. Never leave me again!

PC
- The Darkness II
- Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition
- Jagged Alliance: Back in Action
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
- Gotham City Impostors (download)
- Shank 2 (download)
- Cell: emergence (download)

Xbox 360
- Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and The Darkness II
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
- Cell: emergence (XBLA)
- Gotham City Impostors (XBLA)
- Shank 2 (XBLA)
- The Darkness II

PS3
- Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition
- Jax and Daxter Collection
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
- The Darkness II
- Shank 2 (PSN - $10)
- The House of the Dead 3 (PSN)
- Gotham City Impostors (PSN)

Nintendo 3DS
- Resident Evil: Revelations
- 40-in-1 Explosive Megamix (eShop)

Nintendo DS
- Jewel Link Chronicles: Mountains of Madness
- 40-in-1 Explosive Megamix (DSiWare)

Comments

Elysium wrote:

but really from the moment someone said it was going to be like God of War meets Oblivion. As far as strong pitches for my interest go, that's pretty much the skyrocketing over my bar for success.

That "someone" sure is smart... and devilishly handsome too:

fangblackbone wrote:

It looks like Elder Scrolls world meets the combat of Dynasty Warriors or God of War. Except with more fleshed out spells.

Kingdoms of Amalur does have a bit of a generic quality to it, but from what what I've played so far the blandness does not seem like a terrible flaw. The combat is genuinely engaging, and I find myself actually looking forward dispatching enemies with the wide array of abilities the game makes available relatively early on.

It's all very fluid with each move seamlessly merging into the last to set up interesting combos and even juggling attacks. I'm only maybe 3 or 4 hours in, but so far it's been a refreshing change from the usual clunky RPG combat systems we are saddled with. It's too early to really pass judgement on the story, but it hasn't struck me as particularly bad. Fairly standard really, full of industrious gnomes, mystical Fae, lots of monsters, with various wars between them all.

Garden Ninja wrote:
Maclintok wrote:

When it does grate, this style of writing comes across as far too precious and even amateurish... like an eager undergrad trying really hard to impress his English professor.

Frankly, while I haven't read the whole review, the quotes that doubtingthomas posted sounded like the guy wanted to show off everything he got at the Adjective Store that morning. ("Buy 11 adjectives and get the 12th for just one penny!")

Both of these.

This is the writing of someone who wants people to read his stuff and think "Who else but a Writer would phrase something like that?"

A good writer is someone who makes you understand what s/he was saying in one try. A bad writer hides his/her meaning behind lots and lots of language and pretends that's what he meant to do all along.

I dunno. The writing was actually fairly bad. It's long-winded, unnecessarily convoluted, and riddled with overly long sentences. It's a lot like what I would write.

LarryC wrote:

I dunno. The writing was actually fairly bad. It's long-winded, unnecessarily convoluted, and riddled with overly long sentences. It's a lot like what I would write.

Wait, aren't you a surgeon? I thought the most you guys wrote is "Pt looks fine from doorway" on a progress note.

"The more grandiloquent and picturesque the language, the greater the distance at which he keeps you."

Ha! Touché. Guilty as charged.

Spoiler:

I'm an anesthesiologist, though.

LarryC wrote:

Ha! Touché. Guilty as charged.

Spoiler:

I'm an anesthesiologist, though.

Spoiler:

That explains why your writing puts me to sleep! *rim shot*

LarryC wrote:

Ha! Touché. Guilty as charged.

Spoiler:

I'm an anesthesiologist, though.

Aha! Sorry for placing you on the wrong side of the blood-brain barrier.

Gabe at Penny Arcade was raving about the art in Reckoning, but I just don't see it. It looks generic and uninteresting. I honestly find Skyrim's visuals much more compelling. Sure, you're walking through trees, rock and snow for a long time, but that means when you do happen upon a great view, be it city, ruin, landscape, or the northern lights, they are even more beautiful by contrast.

Kojiro wrote:

Gabe at Penny Arcade was raving about the art in Reckoning, but I just don't see it. It looks generic and uninteresting. I honestly find Skyrim's visuals much more compelling. Sure, you're walking through trees, rock and snow for a long time, but that means when you do happen upon a great view, be it city, ruin, landscape, or the northern lights, they are even more beautiful by contrast.

That might be the distinction between art style, and the execution of the chosen art style.

"Generic and uninteresting" is often a clue saying "I fundamentally don't like the aesthetic vision of this artist." People who like the style but fault the execution usually have very specific complaints.

LarryC wrote:

"Generic and uninteresting" is often a clue saying "I fundamentally don't like the aesthetic vision of this artist." People who like the style but fault the execution usually have very specific complaints.

I can get behind that. Then again, I'm feeling like Prototype looks generic and uninteresting. But I also have a real hard time figuring out where I am because things look so much alike all over the place. That's my justification. Thankfully the North orientation for New York makes it easy to get an idea of where to go or how to get there.

Played Reckoning's demo... not bad. Not sure I'd pick it up at full price, though. The art is nice, but it does feel a bit also-ran.

I dig the combat, however. Nothing too deep, as far as the demo's concerned, but interactive enough as to keep the player engaged.

Might buy it once my pile looks more decent.

brokenclavicle wrote:

Played Reckoning's demo... not bad. Not sure I'd pick it up at full price, though. The art is nice, but it does feel a bit also-ran.

I dig the combat, however. Nothing too deep, as far as the demo's concerned, but interactive enough as to keep the player engaged.

Might buy it once my pile looks more decent.

That's kind of how I feel about it. It looks and sounds super interesting. Playing the demo confirmed that, but also made me realize that I can wait until the pile is smaller to pick up new games in general, but especially big RPGs.