August 26 - September 1

Welcome to this embarrassingly late edition of The Week Ahead. And on one of the most important weeks of the year too: Madden Week. Madden and I are like the Rachel and Ross of video games. Will we? Won't we? And if/once we do, will it only be for a short while until we have some kind of weird argument in bed?

I'm sorry that all my cultural references are a decade old. (But, seriously guys, did you hear about this Video Music Awards thing? Apparently Madonna and Christina Aguilera kissed!)

This year I'm genuinely torn — as if that's not normally the case — because Madden 25 does look at least on the outside like a presentation– and feature–rich version with a lot of attention paid to delivering a strong showing for the series' 25th anniversary. What I don't imagine, though, is that the experience of playing the actual game is likely to be any different, and am I going to do what I do most years, which is play it for a week and then put it in the games cabinet, never to be heard from again?

Meanwhile, this week also sees the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as well as Lost Planet III. Both of those games feel like something that should be hitting with a little more fanfare and attention, but for the life of me I can't think of anything to actually say about them. So, they are things that exist, I guess. Now you know.

PC
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition
- The Chaos Engine
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
- Game Dev Tycoon
- Guardians of Middle-earth
- Lost Planet 3
- Memoria
- Pixeljunk Monsers Ultimate Edition
- Shelter

Xbox 360
- Killer is Dead
- Lost Planet 3
- Madden NFL 25

PS3
- Crimson Sea 2 (PS2 Classic)
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
- Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims (PSN)
- Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F
- The HD Adventures of the Rotating Octopus Character (PSN)
- Killer is Dead
- Lost Planet 3
- Madden NFL 25
- Spelunky (PSN)
- Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (PSN)

DS
- Wario Land 3 (e-shop)

Vita
- Floating God Saves the Pilgrims (PSN)
- Spelunky (PSN)
- Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (PSN)

3DS
- Wario Land 3 (e-shop)

Comments

Man, that's a lot of Friends hate. It wasn't a pinnacle of culture or anything, but yikes. Next thing, you'll be telling me that Matchbox Twenty wasn't that good.

But... I loved Push!!...

I liked Matchbox 20, they were no Collective Soul though.

Elysium wrote:

Man, that's a lot of Friends hate. It wasn't a pinnacle of culture or anything, but yikes. Next thing, you'll be telling me that Matchbox Twenty wasn't that good.

I'm with you on this. I doubt it still holds up, but for my headplace at the time, it was entertaining. I have to admit that I identified with Ross (shocking, I know) and found Jennifer Anniston gorgeous.

What? I was in my mid 20s. Cut me some slack!

Elysium wrote:

Man, that's a lot of Friends hate. It wasn't a pinnacle of culture or anything, but yikes. Next thing, you'll be telling me that Matchbox Twenty wasn't that good.

Dug Friends, despise Matchbox 20 :/ Not a fan of the broody post-grunge/pop acts, me

ClockworkHouse wrote:

It's good to know people are standing firm on cultural frontlines drawn in the '90s. ;)

IMAGE(http://i.qkme.me/3ozgvw.jpg)

Also not listed is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows which released today on PC (Steam) and 360 (XBLA).

Finally, some reprieve! Too much came out over the last few weeks that I haven't had a chance to touch yet. On the other hand, I've pretty much sworn off adventure games but Memoria looks amazing...

MeatMan wrote:

Also not listed is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows which released today on PC (Steam) and 360 (XBLA).

Tell me more about this thing.

spider_j wrote:

Oh, thank Elysium. Nothing I care about. With SR4, The Wonderful 101, Divekick and Pikmin 3, as well as the Humble Origin Bundle, the last couple of weeks have been expensive.

Well, I forgot to check regional variations. Rayman Legends has now joined the Wii U pile (to think I never though that the words "Wii U pile" were an impossibility!)

So...yeah. Memoria is good. Really good. Really, really good. And it's $18 on Steam through the end of the week.

It's as pretty as advertised, in that 2D parallaxed manner that is strongly reminiscent of the way George Kamitani's characters move (Odin Sphere, Dragon's Crown) but without the ludicrously proportioned men and women. The plot is interesting and is revealed in layers, there's no real unnecessary fluff like sidequests, the voice acting is quite solid for a German-made game, and it just flows well. Most importantly, the puzzles offer some challenge (not head-bashingly so, but a bit) while still staying both in-the-world and completely logical. No cat hair mustaches in sight.

I really recommend this game to anyone that likes adventure games at all.

Minarchist wrote:

So...yeah. Memoria is good. Really good. Really, really good. And it's $18 on Steam through the end of the week.

It's as pretty as advertised, in that 2D parallaxed manner that is strongly reminiscent of the way George Kamitani's characters move (Odin Sphere, Dragon's Crown) but without the ludicrously proportioned men and women. The plot is interesting and is revealed in layers, there's no real unnecessary fluff like sidequests, the voice acting is quite solid for a German-made game, and it just flows well. Most importantly, the puzzles offer some challenge (not head-bashingly so, but a bit) while still staying both in-the-world and completely logical. No cat hair mustaches in sight.

I really recommend this game to anyone that likes adventure games at all.

Definitely putting it on the wish list, then. No real time for more gaming now, but some day (when I retire).

I finished Memoria last night, having thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. The plot was a really fun ride, and despite being translated from German the script was well-written. It's a good exploration of its theme, of what it means to be remembered and the motivation to leave a legacy.

None of the characters are heroes, really; they all have their own motivations which are logical but self-serving. There's a dialogue early on between Sadja and her magical companion about whether or not she has pity that sets the tone for the game really well. It's not the modern hollywood Anti-Hero thing where everyone's a homicidal meth dealer, but everyone has warts and no one tries to save the world for the sake of saving the world. Arguably, no one tries to save the world, period.

I cannot recommend this game highly enough. Expect a more full write-up coming soon to an adventure game thread near you.