Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

Posted by nfinit on October 13, 2008

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno (DS, Wii, PS2)

Avatar has this weird TMNT vibe where it has fans entirely too old to be following a Nickleodeon cartoon series, and not in the ironic Spongebob way, and generally speaking Gen X children do not rank among Avatar’s target audience. Combined with this game supposedly representing the last Avatar season ever, there’s good reason to believe that THQ may make an honest attempt at raising this title above shovelware status.

To that end, Into the Inferno lifts gameplay elements from Okami and Twilight Princess, all which serve to make the game sound interesting until you remember it’s a Nickelodeon game from THQ. It may be Perfectly Acceptable Gaming for twelve year olds, and as long as you’re willing to go into this game with the realization that it’s not really supposed to be aiming higher than that, it’ll probably at least be enjoyable.

Blitz, The League II (PS3, 360)

I like that Midway went with Roman numerals for this franchise, it helps to have an air of gravitas when you’re curbstomping the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Steamers into a drooling retard.

Further innovations from the Madden formula include Lawrence Taylor as a playable character, which we can only hope means a minigame where you collect and deliver hookers to rival team’s hotels the night before your game.

Boogie Superstar (Wii)

You remember Boogie, right? The first big exclusive release for the Wii by EA, everyone convinced themselves it was going to be something interesting and new before it turned out that it was basically Singstar with random wiimote waggle?

This is that, but with songs by Aly & AJ. If you buy this, you’re part of the problem.

Cesar Millan’s Dog Whisperer (DS)

At this point we can only assume something horrible happened in Yves Guillemot’s formative years to cause him to hate gaming and gamers to the point where his life’s goal is to bring to Ubisoft’s financial might to bear upon the singular goal of destroying our hobby. To that end we have Ceasear Millan’s Dog Whisperer, which we hope is a more openly sadistic Nintendogs.

Dead Space (360, PS3)

Among the first in a wave of self-professed Very Important Games to be released this holiday season, Dead Space would appear to be a blatant and unapologetic merger of RE4 and Aliens. Which probably isn’t bad thing. I just have a hard time trusting a game set forth to be the centerpoint of a media franchise instead of being a fundamentally good game.

Like everything else EA does these days that doesn’t involve the DS, it’ll be competent and polished and hard to find any actual fault with, but also diluted and detached and shipped with two or three flaws that feel like were left there entirely to give the devs something to improve upon for the sequel(s).

And I’d be lying if I said I’m ignoring all the above for Mirror’s Edge.

Dokapon Kingdom (Wii, PS2)

Gameplay video reveals an attempt to create a party game out of bog-standard menu-based JRPG gameplay, an idea that looks even worse than it sounds.

FIFA Soccer 2009 (everything)

If I can’t be bothered to summon enthusiasm for videogame representations of sports I actually enjoy, why would you expect me to have anything interesting to say about soccer games? The only point of interest this game holds for me is the chance to edit Manchester United’s AIG sponsorship to Amtrak.

Golden Axe: Beast Rider (PS3, 360)

As a Sega fan dating back from the original Shinobi, the most frustrating aspect of Sega’s downfall– you know, aside from utterly incompetent management and the abject failure of the Dreamcast– was seeing Sega fumble away it’s classic franchises. While the golden age of JRPGs waxed and waned with the Playstation, we never saw a proper Phantasy Star followup; while Strategy RPGS came into their own on the GBA and DS we saw Shining Force reinvented as a Diablo clone; while Mario 64 was redefining the platformer, we were forced to accept the perversion and humiliation of Sonic the Hedgehog. So in that regard it’s good to see Sega did nothing with Golden Axe for nearly twenty years.

I should like this game. I loved Golden Axe, I love DMC clones, I love beheadings, I love busty redheads topless on horseback. I mean, I should have the pre-order slip for the LE sitting in my wallet, right? There should be a Beast Rider wallpaper on my desktop, right? So why can’t I summon interest in Beast Rider, much less excitement?

It’s Sega, of course. This is the company that couldn’t even get Shinobi 3d right. Sure, God of War: Tits Edition ought to be hard to screw up, but Sega’s already shot themselves in the foot by failing to include the one thing that sat the original Golden Axe apart, multiplayer. Dave Halverson ejaculating over the disc in October’s Play magazine didn’t help matters, as people who remember Bullet Witch can attest.

Then there’s the developer, Secret Level, who’s last title of note was Final Fight: Streetwise. Until proven otherwise, this is strictly bargain bin fodder.

I’m operating under the assumption that the sequence of events depicted above represents a hallucination brought about by badly expired taco meat. The only other explanation involves the company that’s funding Mirror’s Edge spending ten million dollars developing a series of games where you run a pet shop full of dogs suffering from Down’s Syndrome, and that’s not a universe I wish to be part of.

Naruto: Path of Ninja 2 (DS)

You may wonder how Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2 fits in with last week’s theory that all ninja games are awesome, always; and I counter that by saying that a ninja game really isn’t a ninja game unless dismemberment is heavily featured, and I don’t think Naruto features limbs forcibly removed from their parent bodies. I can’t be bothered to verify this theory though, as all my attempts at Naruto research somehow ended in Sakura Haruno bondage hentai. Can’t fault me for not trying, though.

Rock Revolution (PS3, 360, Wii)

Rock Revolution– the Libertarian Party candidate of guitar games.

(I should probably stop with that, right? I probably don’t really need to point out that Konami would make more money selling Guitar Freaks song packs on Rock Band, right? Right, carry on.)

Saint’s Row 2 (360, PS3)

The sandbox game for people who thought Crackdown was too cerebral.

SR2 is a throughly by-the-numbers GTA3 clone, but it appears to be enjoyable despite that, and to be honest it’s been long enough since GTA4 for there to be good reason to look into SR2 if sandbox games are your genre of choice. You just sorta wish there was more to say about the improvements from the first game outside of Tera Patrick.

Socom: Confrontation With Headset (PS3)

Here we see Hideo Kojima’s influence finally filtering down to Western developers.

Tak: Guardians of Gross (PS2)

It’s always reassuring for the entire first page of google results for a game to result in links regurgitating the press release pablum. It’s my theory that the Tak games exist as a way for THQ to repackage unsold copies of The Polar Express game, and if you’re in Tak’s target audience you have no real way of knowing the difference or even particularly care anyway.

Ten Pin Alley 2 (Wii)

It’s good to see gaming finally embrace the one-legged schoolgirl market. Alas, I’m not sure if this represents a step down or step up for XS game’s last effort, Funkmaster Flex’s Digital Hitz Factory.

You have no idea how badly you wish I was making that last bit up.


LITTLE BIG PLANET confuses; infuriates non-PS3 owners!
WII MUSIC urinates on the bleeding, ravaged corpse of the videogame industry
FABLE 2 probably sucks!


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