May 7 – May 13

This week is the quiet before the storm known as Diablo 3 (I'll save my gushing about that for next week). But you don't have to be bored. There are several things that can help you bear the waiting.

Her Interactive brings us another installation of their point and click adventure game series with Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen. These are solid puzzlers, and I have enjoyed the previous games with my children. They're beautiful to look at and the code-base is solid. If you're looking for something to share with a tweener-age girl (or a boy who doesn't care it's a girl doing the talking) these should be at the top of your list.

Exclusive to PSN, Datura is an exercise is trying to use Move technology in the context of an old-school style adventure game to create a completely immersive experience. That's what the developer says, anyways. People are comparing the experience to Dear Esther and Myst. I haven't been able to get a straight answer if it's possible to play without the Move or not, but if you have the hardware and dig the genre it might be intriguing.

If you've been around here any length of time, my predilection for spending way too much time in a certain blocky realm is well known. But even without that, out of this week's lineup I would still pick Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition as my Game of the Week. There are limitations that might drive an experienced 'Crafter a bit batty, but the way this version seems to remove barriers to cooperative play with split-screen co-op as well as online action, it looks like a step towards a new audience. Ask me in a week if I'm swearing by it or at it. ;)

PC
- Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen
- Nexuiz (download - $10)
- Street Fighter X Tekken
- Warlock: Master of the Arcane

Xbox 360
- Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (XLBA - $15)
- Phantom Breaker

PlayStation 3
- Datura (PSN - $10)
- Starhawk

Nintendo 3DS
- Sudoku by Nikoli (eShop - $5)

PSP
- Knight Fortix 2 (PSP mini)

Nintendo DS
- Paul's Shooting Adventure 2 (DSiWare - $2)

Comments

Journey was robbed!

Nancy Drew over Warlock for PC game mention? Really?

Probably nothing new for me this week. Maybe Nexuiz if it gets some positive reviews, been far too long since I've played a new arena FPS.

tboon wrote:

Nancy Drew over Warlock for PC game mention? Really?

Over Nexuiz too?

The Warlock demo was quite entertaining. I hope the real deal lives up to it.

I still don't get the appeal of Minecraft. At all.

tboon wrote:

Nancy Drew over Warlock for PC game mention? Really?

:)

It's an under-appreciated series.

BadKen wrote:

The Warlock demo was quite entertaining. I hope the real deal lives up to it.

I still don't get the appeal of Minecraft. At all.

It's probably a lot more entertaining if you were a Lego/Erector-Set nut as a child with a love of MMO's. I've yet to play it myself, and honestly have no interest.

Well, that's not completely true. The "build-during-the-day, defend yourself at night" aspect sounds like it could make for a sweet sort of Horde co-op, but from what I've heard it's really not.

I didn't even realize Starhawk was coming out this week. I really am getting out of touch. I used to keep a spreadsheet with release dates of games I was interested in. Maybe I'll grab this after completing Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, but doubtful. For some reason I'm not sure I want to spend $60 on it.

EDIT: I'm starting to think I should never read a "synopsis" off of Wikipedia for a video game, ever.

In 'Starhawk' the universe is in the future, where humans have begun colonizing other planets. The game is set in a distant colony called the Frontier, which was home to a massive battle after an event known as the Rush. The Rush took place when all of the rift energy miners, commonly referred to as Rifters, were mining for valuable rift energy. The rift energy was incredibly powerful, however, and transformed the miners into mutants known as Outcasts. The Outcasts are extremely protective of the rift energy, and kill any who attempt to harvest it.

Sounds like a plot summary I'd have come up with in 8th grade.

ccesarano wrote:

EDIT: I'm starting to think I should never read a "synopsis" off of Wikipedia for a video game, ever.

In 'Starhawk' the universe is in the future, where humans have begun colonizing other planets. The game is set in a distant colony called the Frontier, which was home to a massive battle after an event known as the Rush. The Rush took place when all of the rift energy miners, commonly referred to as Rifters, were mining for valuable rift energy. The rift energy was incredibly powerful, however, and transformed the miners into mutants known as Outcasts. The Outcasts are extremely protective of the rift energy, and kill any who attempt to harvest it.

Sounds like a plot summary I'd have come up with in 8th grade.

To be fair to the Wiki editor who wrote that, it doesn't exactly sound like he was starting with solid gold to begin with. The phrase "polish a turd" leaps to mind.

I'm excited about Starhawk, but I'm also friends with some people who made it.

Gravey wrote:

To be fair to the Wiki editor who wrote that, it doesn't exactly sound like he was starting with solid gold to begin with. The phrase "polish a turd" leaps to mind.

Pretty much what I was meaning. Not the write-up itself, but the material within it sounded like something I'd come up with in middle school.

wordsmythe wrote:

I'm excited about Starhawk, but I'm also friends with some people who made it.

Based on that same Wikipedia page, critical reception (from IGN at least) enjoyed the game, just hated the story. So I may give it a go nonetheless, just depends on if anyone else I know is planning on grabbing it.

ccesarano wrote:
Gravey wrote:

To be fair to the Wiki editor who wrote that, it doesn't exactly sound like he was starting with solid gold to begin with. The phrase "polish a turd" leaps to mind.

Pretty much what I was meaning. Not the write-up itself, but the material within it sounded like something I'd come up with in middle school.

Ah, gotcha. I think neither of them, the editor or the original story writers, were doing either one any favours there.

BadKen wrote:

The Warlock demo was quite entertaining. I hope the real deal lives up to it.

I still don't get the appeal of Minecraft. At all.

It's a sandbox. In a fairly literal sense. With friends, it's great fun to build stuff and play in that sandbox.

And then you die and everything blows up, so you do it again.

momgamer wrote:

I haven't been able to get a straight answer if it's possible to play without the Move or not, but if you have the hardware and dig the genre it might be intriguing.

EU Blog says so.

We created a virtual hand that you can operate and touch nearly everything in the game. If you don’t have a motion controller, you can still play with a DualShock 3 controller
Stele wrote:
momgamer wrote:

I haven't been able to get a straight answer if it's possible to play without the Move or not, but if you have the hardware and dig the genre it might be intriguing.

I just want to point out that, without that "momgamer wrote", I would have continued to think this was Elysium. In fact, I read the entire post in Elysium's voice.

I should be a lot more attentive to the byline in these things.

I was surprised that she was gushing about D3, too. I figured that was the "Sheawns Only Club" in terms of the front page.

ccesarano wrote:
Stele wrote:
momgamer wrote:

I haven't been able to get a straight answer if it's possible to play without the Move or not, but if you have the hardware and dig the genre it might be intriguing.

I just want to point out that, without that "momgamer wrote", I would have continued to think this was Elysium. In fact, I read the entire post in Elysium's voice.

I should be a lot more attentive to the byline in these things.

You must have thought he had lost his mind!? All we need is a good jRPG to come out while I'm doing this and it'll really bend your noodle.

That reminds me, what's the best way to nag the ever-loving crap out of him to play Xenoblade?

Not that I actually expect to convince him. I just want to make him die a little inside.

You're trying to get me in trouble.

I don't know. I'd be calling the kettle black here. Mine would still be in it's shrinkwrap if I hadn't lent it to PAXEast's Console Freeplay library. This withJob thing is kicking me right in the you-guessed-it.

ccesarano wrote:

That reminds me, what's the best way to nag the ever-loving crap out of him to play Xenoblade?

Not that I actually expect to convince him. I just want to make him die a little inside.

He lives in Minnesota, you don't have to do anything to make him die a little inside.

BadKen wrote:

The Warlock demo was quite entertaining. I hope the real deal lives up to it.

Me too. I pre-ordered after playing the demo. I'm looking forward to playing it without a timer.

Not that I actually expect to convince him. I just want to make him die a little inside.

Mission accomplished!

ccesarano wrote:

That reminds me, what's the best way to nag the ever-loving crap out of him to play Xenoblade?

I thought it was established in the PAX East thread that there wasn't enough Corona in the world to make him play TWEWY

shoptroll wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

That reminds me, what's the best way to nag the ever-loving crap out of him to play Xenoblade?

I thought it was established in the PAX East thread that there wasn't enough Corona in the world to make him play TWEWY :(

Now that's just a damn lie. You just need to get him drunk to the point where he can't stand on his own but can certainly play a handheld. Just tell him it's a new portable Torchlight or Diablo.

...Challenge accepted!

i just spent several hours playing Minecraft splitscreen on the 360 with my kids, and we are loving it. I know that the common refrains on many videogame message boards is essentially "Why does this even exist?" and "Who would play this when the superior PC version is available?"

While the game is no doubt more advanced on the PC (my understanding is that the 360 version is at about the level of the PC beta from last year at this time), the game runs silky smooth on the 360 even when playing with 3 people on a single console.

This is almost the perfect game for a parent with young children. Assuming your children are old enough to grok dual analog stick movement (about 3-4 years old in my experience), they will likely love this game. I don't let my kids play anything online because they are only 4 and 7, so it is nice to find a kid friendly game with splitscreen and some depth.

The only caveat is font size. We're playing on a 40 inch TV, and the font is pretty small in 4 player split screen. My understanding is that the font and icons in the crafting system were simply unworkable in SD, so splitscreen has been completely disabled if you are still playing on an SD TV. There have been reports that an HDMI connection is required for splitscreen, but I checked on my older, upstairs, non-HDMI 360 and can confirm that it works just fine over a VGA cable.

TheHipGamer wrote:
BadKen wrote:

The Warlock demo was quite entertaining. I hope the real deal lives up to it.

I still don't get the appeal of Minecraft. At all.

It's a sandbox. In a fairly literal sense. With friends, it's great fun to build stuff and play in that sandbox.

And then you die and everything blows up, so you do it again.

Well, I hate people, so maybe that explains it.

Here's a question: how's Minecraft as a game these days? I ask because the last time I messed around with it at all, it was still very much focused on seeing what kind of weird stuff you could make and looking at YouTube videos of somebody's version of the Starship Enterprise or the Link to the Past world map or whatever. And that's fine, but I didn't really have the patience for any of that myself. Paralyzed by options and all that. Yeah, I CAN build a big elaborate castle thingy, but why? For what purpose? And in terms of enemies to fight and, y'know, GAME to play, it's not that there wasn't anything there, it's just that what WAS there seemed pretty thin and place-holder-y.

And then I picked up Terraria and it all clicked for me. Okay, now I get it. The reason I want to build a base for myself is to have a safe place from these monsters. And the reason I want to improve my base is so that I can build more stuff. And the reason I want to build more stuff is because when I try to explore that one part of the world, I always get killed, and I want to be able to explore it without being killed. And the reason I want to explore it is 'cause then I can get the ingredients to make better stuff. And so on. It was still pretty wide open, but there was just enough direction to keep me going.

So, I know this is kind of ass-backwards, because most people approached Terraria as a 2D Minecraft and were wondering how it stacked up, which is fair enough because Minecraft did come first and all. What I'm asking is: I'm used to Terraria and Minecraft seems like a 3D version of that, which seems cool. So how does it stack up as that?

I'd say they share elements, but have different focuses. In their vanilla un-modded forms, Terraria focusses on the PvE monster fighting, Minecraft on building stuff. They're similar, but not just a 2D/3D version of the other. Just like most games, you need to find what appeals to you.

Elysium wrote:
Not that I actually expect to convince him. I just want to make him die a little inside.

Mission accomplished!

Y'know, Xenoblade is so much like an MMO (a little too much for my taste, honestly) that you may be quite surprised.

I went through the same thing hbi2k, on Minecraft vs Terraria. I never understood the Minecraft hype, but played the hell out of Terraria for weeks. And Terraria has had so many updates since that it's almost like a new game. I'm much more likely to go back and start fresh with it a few times than to try Minecraft now.

I was the other way around. I picked up Terraria, but it just seemed too thin for me and it never clicked. I haven't tried it again in a long while. To each their own. I'm glad to hear people with kids are getting into this Minecraft. When I played the demo and saw that split screen, I knew that was the killer feature for this. We'll see how they do as they catch the rest of the game up.

hbi2k wrote:

The reason I want to build a base for myself is to have a safe place from these monsters. And the reason I want to improve my base is so that I can build more stuff. And the reason I want to build more stuff is because when I try to explore that one part of the world, I always get killed, and I want to be able to explore it without being killed. And the reason I want to explore it is 'cause then I can get the ingredients to make better stuff. And so on. It was still pretty wide open, but there was just enough direction to keep me going.

Well that pretty much sums up my Minecraft experience. Then a friend showed me Terraria, and I thought, so I can do all the same stuff, but in 2D? Nah.