October 22 – October 26

I remember during my counter-jockey days of managing an Electronics Boutique, every holiday season around this time of year the shipments of games to stock for the coming buying spree would increase almost exponentially. I would unpack these boxes stuffed with terrible, half-hearted games, and I would wonder, "who buys this stuff?" Over the next few weeks I would find out as shovelware flew off the shelves. I always think of the release of a bunch of Cabella games as the opening ceremonies for shovelware season.

That said, there are still quite a few releases worth caring about coming over the next few weeks. I want to start this week, however, by talking a little about Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. I will say this, at least Stardock has held true to its commitments to create a large, meaningful update to Elemental to hopefully address the myriad issues people had with the largely disappointing game. I wish I didn't feel like it was too little, too late, because I still really want to play the game I'd hoped Elemental would be, and I can tell you that in the beta versions of Fallen Enchantress I played there was real progress happening. But, here in the closing days of 2012, I have a nagging sense that the opportunity may have passed.

As long as I'm wishing stuff, for that matter, I also wish I were more excited about Forza Horizon. Early buzz sounds positive, but for me there is something about the flippancy of an open-world, street racing, knock over sign posts to get collectibles kind of game that goes against what I love about the franchise. I liked the hallowed and reverential way Forza has treated its subject, and even if the simulation modelling is still all there under the proverbial hood, there's something about Horizon that gets away from the heart of a Forza game for me.

I'd like to be surprised, to play it and find that my narrow-minded interpretation is exactly that, so I'm still calling it Game of the Week. I'm just afraid that for both Horizon and Fallen Enchantress, I won't be able to get past some preconceived notions that impact how I see the game. Oh well, my loss I guess.

PC
- A Game of Dwarves (download)
- Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013 (download)
- Cabela's Hunting Expeditions (download)
- Deadlight (download)
- Elemental: Fallen Enchantress
- Farming Simulator 2013
- FIFA Manager 13
- Hotline Miami (download)
- King's Bounty: Warriors of the North (download)
- Lucius
- Medal of Honor Warfighter
- Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device

Xbox 360
- Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013
- Cabela's Hunting Expeditions
- Forza Horizon
- Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (XBLA)
- Just Dance Disney Party
- Medal of Honor Warfighter

PS3
- Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013
- Cabela's Hunting Expeditions
- Killzone HD (PSN)
- Medal of Honor Warfighter
- The Unfinished Swan (PSN)

Wii
- Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013
- Cabela's Hunting Expeditions
- Just Dance Disney Party

Vita
- Orgarhythm (PSN)
- Street Fighter X Tekken
- Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz
- Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

3DS
- Imagine Fashion Life
- NightSky (eShop)
- Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

Comments

This week for me is all about Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. It's the sequel to the surprisingly dark, surprisingly good 999 for the DS. I'm not sure how well it'll translate to the Vita, but the 3DS version looks like a good follow-up and a nice puzzle-adventure game for the new system.

The best part about a Cabela release is that CGR will do a review and hope the truck stops by again.

If I could only get one game this week, it'd be Zero Escape. The thing about games like that though is that I tend to plow through them in less than a week even with getting all of the endings. It'll probably quickly be trade-in fodder for next week's Ragnarok Odyssey.

Luckily, I'm getting 3 games. ZE, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress (partly because I'm getting it free) and Unfinished Swan (because I have a bit of money left in my PSN account.)

As if we needed further proof the universe is cruel and harsh: The Hunter still isn't greenlit on Steam, yet both Cabela games are there waiting to flush your cash....

I considered grabbing Hotline: Miami this week but I haven't taken Retro City Rampage out for a spin, so I think Hotline is getting wishlisted.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

This week for me is all about Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. It's the sequel to the surprisingly dark, surprisingly good 999 for the DS. I'm not sure how well it'll translate to the Vita, but the 3DS version looks like a good follow-up and a nice puzzle-adventure game for the new system.

If there's no change between the demo version and the launch version in the UI, it'll be damn near unplayable on the Vita.

Tanglebones wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

This week for me is all about Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. It's the sequel to the surprisingly dark, surprisingly good 999 for the DS. I'm not sure how well it'll translate to the Vita, but the 3DS version looks like a good follow-up and a nice puzzle-adventure game for the new system.

If there's no change between the demo version and the launch version in the UI, it'll be damn near unplayable on the Vita.

Yeah, those controls were horrid.

I always think of the release of a bunch of Cabella games as the opening ceremonies for shovelware season.

Somewhere, Dick Cabella is holding up an orange plastic rifle and saying "On your mark, get set..."

I pre-ordered Hotline: Miami, which I'm really psyched for. Now I just need to find a Windows disk so I can run it.

Elysium wrote:

I'd like to be surprised, to play it and find that my narrow-minded interpretation is exactly that, so I'm still calling it Game of the Week. I'm just afraid that for both Horizon and Fallen Enchantress, I won't be able to get past some preconceived notions that impact how I see the game.

Do like I did and try the Forza Horizon demo. I turned my nose virtually the moment it was announced, writing it off as a desperate cash-in on the franchise name from a publisher with little to show in the way of exclusive IP for the holidays.

Man, was I wrong.

The positive reviews made me take a second look and the demo won me over in fast fashion. On the surface, the trendy street-race culture is the last thing I was looking for, but what I found was an open-world PGR-like experience, erring on the side of sim that knocked my socks off.

The better part of my weekend was spent with the final version of Fallen Enchantress, mostly losing against the AI. Stardock has really outdone themselves this time. If you like turn-based strategy games, if you like fantasy, even if you like RPGs, don’t miss this one.

So sayeth Tom Chick. Quite the praise ... so far. I'm somewhat optimistic, but I too think the ship has sailed for me.

My apologies to the math people. I did you guys wrong.

I will always buy a Forza game on day one until they give me a reason not to.

I'm gonna take a moment and defend Cabella's Dangerous Hunts here. I'm not sure about the other ones all about deer hunting, and what little I played of the story mode for 2011 was God awful, but jumping into survival mode with my old man in 2012 on our brand new widescreen television was as fun as any other light gun game.

Well, shouldn't quite say it like that. But the survival mode for Dangerous Hunts is a lot of fun.

Tanglebones wrote:

If there's no change between the demo version and the launch version in the UI, it'll be damn near unplayable on the Vita.

I didn't play the demo, but it can be kind of touchy with where you hit the screen. You can use it in virtual mouse mode with the analog stick, which leaves a lot to be desired, or by touching the screen, which can be difficult to hit exactly what you want. It's playable for me though. You can tell they designed the puzzles for a stylus rather than a capacitive touch screen. Luckily, there's usually no real time limit on it, so you can miss as many times as you want when touching stuff.

I might go buy a capacitive stylus to see if that improves it.

I tried a beta of Fallen Enchantress a couple of months ago, and it didn't even have the ability to put itself in fullscreen or to change resolutions.

I uninstalled it, and I don't think I'm ever likely to buy anything else from them. If they can't figure that much out by now, then I'm done with Stardock.

garion333 wrote:

The best part about a Cabela release is that CGR will do a review and hope the truck stops by again.

Great. Now I really want a Cabela's game after ignoring them all these years. As an added bonus, it will absolutely horrify my daughter. Probably my wife, too.

As someone who has played every dungeon builder game he could get his hands on, I instantly bought Game of Dwarves. It's much like the old Dungeon Keeper games, or even Evil Genius. It has only a couple things in common with the staggeringly difficult Dwarf Fortress. (As a side note, while I love other ascii games like Angband, I'm apparently too stupid or impatient to learn Dwarf Fortress)

The game has all the basics: cute dwarves, tons of things to build, full 3d, things to fight, and a research tech tree. Everything that should make it awesome. However, after 4 hours playing Game of Dwarves I realized I was bored. I'll pick it up again at some point, after all I spent $15 on it.

Frawg wrote:

As someone who has played every dungeon builder game he could get his hands on, I instantly bought Game of Dwarves. It's much like the old Dungeon Keeper games, or even Evil Genius. It has only a couple things in common with the staggeringly difficult Dwarf Fortress. (As a side note, while I love other ascii games like Angband, I'm apparently too stupid or impatient to learn Dwarf Fortress)

The game has all the basics: cute dwarves, tons of things to build, full 3d, things to fight, and a research tech tree. Everything that should make it awesome. However, after 4 hours playing Game of Dwarves I realized I was bored. I'll pick it up again at some point, after all I spent $15 on it.

Good news! You only spent $10 on it.

Malor wrote:

I tried a beta of Fallen Enchantress a couple of months ago, and it didn't even have the ability to put itself in fullscreen or to change resolutions.

I uninstalled it, and I don't think I'm ever likely to buy anything else from them. If they can't figure that much out by now, then I'm done with Stardock.

Huh. That's odd. Now that the release version is out, I'll look into it and see if you can do those two things. I remember being able to do it in a really old beta.

kazriko wrote:
Malor wrote:

I tried a beta of Fallen Enchantress a couple of months ago, and it didn't even have the ability to put itself in fullscreen or to change resolutions.

I uninstalled it, and I don't think I'm ever likely to buy anything else from them. If they can't figure that much out by now, then I'm done with Stardock.

Huh. That's odd. Now that the release version is out, I'll look into it and see if you can do those two things. I remember being able to do it in a really old beta.

You can.