April 8 - April 12

I realize that from the outside looking in, it probably looks like the formula for Game of the Week is for me to collect a list of games coming out, choose the most prominent AAA title to talk about and call it a day. There are a few reasons for that, most of them having to do with the fact that the big title is the one I likely know the most about, have the most things I can say about it and is probably the one of the group that I am legitimately most likely to pick up. The problem here is that sophisticated and eclectic are probably not the first adjectives you'd pull out of your thesaurus to describe my gaming habits.

So, what to do on weeks when there are no clear big hits coming out for the myriad systems available? Well, in a way these are the best weeks because it's an opportunity to discover something I might not otherwise have looked at.

A game like, for example, Guacamelee! for the PS3 and Vita this week. A fairly typical Metroid style side-scroller, Guacamelee! seems notable first and foremost for its uncommon art style and setting, a style deeply invested into Mexican heritage and sensibilities. The danger for these kinds of games is always that the makers don't understand their source material well enough to do it justice, and instead of honoring a setting it instead treads on stereotypes. It's hard to say where on that line Guacamelee! will fall, but as a mid-western, middle-age, white guy, I can say definitively that it doesn't seem culturally insensitive to me. Which is to say, how the hell would I know? I'll wait to see what others think.

That said, the game does seem to have invested heavily in building a distinctive art style along with an entertaining stable of characters. Hard not to be hopeful they got the gameplay and the cultural touches right.

Also this week, Microsoft seems to think it's 1999. Along with the launch of Age of Empires II HD for the PC, which I can say from experience plays exactly the same as Age of Empires II Non-HD, only it's in HD, XBLA is also providing us a new Motocross Madness game. For awhile back in the late '90s, Madness games were a staple for Microsoft including two Motocross games along with the, as I recall, fun Midtown Madness. This updated version seems to revolve around the same '90s mentality of big jumps followed by hazardous mid-air tricks.

I suppose someone has been dying for a Motocross Madness reboot. Whoever you are, this is your week.

PC
- Age of Empires II HD (download - $20)
- Age of Wushu (free-to-play)
- ShootMania Storm

Xbox 360
- Motocross Madness (XBLA)

PS3
- Fatal Frame (PS2 Classics)
- Guacamelee! (PSN - $15)

Vita
- Guacamelee! (PSN - $15)

3DS
- Dillon's Rolling Western: The Last Ranger (eShop)

Comments

More pile progress!

I suppose someone has been dying for a Motocross Madness reboot. Whoever you are, this is your week.

ME!! YESSSSS SO EXCITED. Split-screen co-op, ragdoll avatar crashes, bouncy invisible walls. Really hoping it's well done, because I've been waiting 13 years for another Motocross Madness game.

Hah. If you didn't pick Guacamelee this week, it'd be pitchforks and torches time.

Sean did you check out Guacamelee at PAX East in the Indie Mega Booth? Also, have you been secretly reading the Shin Megami Tensei IV thread?

Looks like I'll only have nice weather to hinder my progress in Bioshock Infinite this week.

Sean did you check out Guacamelee at PAX East in the Indie Mega Booth? Also, have you been secretly reading the Shin Megami Tensei IV thread?

I saw that it was there, but didn't get any play time with it.

To your other question, I have not. But, now my curiosity is piqued.

Elysium wrote:

I saw that it was there, but didn't get any play time with it.

Ah, was hoping you had some impressions to share about it. It looked interesting but I never got a chance to try it either.

To your other question, I have not. But, now my curiosity is piqued.

I was mostly asking about the SMT thread to see if that's what prompted your note about the selection process. You're open to bribes right?

People keep telling me to check out Guacamelee, but I just hate that name.

I hate it so much that it makes me use italics, dammit.

ccesarano wrote:

I just hate that name.

Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee Guacamelee

As a Southern Californian, thirty-something, Chicano male, I say you have little to worry about, Elysium. At least from the sneak peaks, it looks like the developers really tried to build up the world, and didn't just try to hit beats derived from stereotypes. I haven't seen any Montezuma's Revenge power-ups, or deadly tap water segments yet.

That said, it looks like I have a reason to fire up the ol' PS3. I'm a sucker for Metroidvania games.

It's funny because I originally wanted to watch the trailer for Guacamelee because of the game.

Demyx wrote:

It's funny because I originally wanted to watch the trailer for Guacamelee because of the name.

FTFY?

I'm also excited for Guacamelee. In regards to the racism, their lead animator is Mexican and served as lead consultant on all things that could be regarded as culturally insensitive. He is the one that came up with the idea.

https://twitter.com/stephgoulet/stat...

Yeah, that's what I meant. Looks like I need more coffee!

I just HAVE to see how Motocross Madness is. I loved the first one all those years ago!

Fatal Frame? Sold.

Hope they release all of them.

While the setting isn't the most interesting to me, Age of Wushu is a sandbox MMO so I'm all for that. If only I had the time...

Oh, dang it! Guacamelee it is, for me!

Man, I loved the sh*t out of the Motocross Madness games. Shame this new one is 360 only. If it comes to Steam, it will be mine.

I guess I should try Guacamelee...

Looks like the PS+ discount for Guacamelee is $11.99

I've been playing Guacamelee! on Vita quite a bit since purchasing it yesterday. So far, it's really fun. The atmosphere is fantastic. I haven't checked it out on PS3 yet, but I'd imagine that it's easier to pick up on some of the background art on a larger screen. That said, I don't feel like it's missing anything on the Vita. Definitely scratching the Metroidvania itch.

I played the Guacamelee demo at GDC, and I thought it was rad. Solid gameplay on both systems, art style is very distinctive, humor isn't offensive or typical (you can transform into a chicken to traverse tight spaces, after being informed of the ability by a giant... chicken). Great humor, great art style, awesome character designs, cool world-flipping/dimension-hopping gameplay mechanic. Took a little getting used to at first, switching between "worlds" to traverse the levels, but they introduce the new mechanics in a very easy and intuitive way that doesn't feel much like a tutorial level. More like "Hey! New power! Try it out! Good! Now go use it to advance through the level!"

Motocross Madness impressions, I haz them.