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

Wallet Abuse Wednesday 10-14-09

Posted by nfinit on October 13, 2009

Y’know the bit in the Jurassic Park movies where the camera would cut to a coffee mug or a goldfish bowl or a puddle of Brontosaurus pee and you’d see in that the ripples of something far away and terribly destructive right before you heard the footsteps?  That’s what this week is to your wallet.
Uncharted 2 (PS3)
Im using the Japanese boxart because Im an elitist pig.  Also because its fing rad.

I'm using the Japanese boxart because I'm an elitist pig. Also because it's f'ing rad.

I don’t own a PS3 and probably won’t for a while yet, which makes it difficult to be interested in  the rare PS3 exclusive that insists on being a worthwhile gaming experience.  It’s sort of like following football and seeing a good quarterback go in the first round of the draft to a team in a conference you don’t follow– you know it’s good for that team, but you can’t really summon any enthusiasm one way or another as you know it’s going to be a long time, if ever, that you get to see that guy play.  In Uncharted 2’s case, which is ranking somewhere north of 95% on Metacritic at the time of this writing– it’s even more annoying as its’ the sort of quarterback ESPNwon’t shut up about.  I guess what I’m saying is that Uncharted 2 is the Matthew Stafford of videogames.

Really, that’s all I got for this.  Lame Bill Simmons jokes.  Naughty Dog even went through the trouble of disabling the godawful update-game-progress-to-facebook feature that was the only known source of lulz to be had.  This game is almost annoyingly competent.  I gotta stop talking about this before I get upset.

Brutal Legend (PS3, 360)
Not pictured:  Axe body spray

Not pictured: Axe body spray

Do you like racing games?  Do you like Devil May Cry?  Do you like Overlord?  Do you like Guitar Hero?  Do you like Jack Black?  Frank Frazetta artwork?  Seing emo boy bands beheaded and thier fans drenched in gouts of blood? What about this:

If you said “yes” to any of these things, then you need to play Brutal Legend!  And if there’s stuff up there you like but also stuff you don’t like, that’s okay too, because Brutal Legend will make you like it anyway!  If you couldn’t find anything to say “yes” to, then you probably need to play Brutal Legend anyway so you’ll stop being so lame.  Just like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Brutal Legend has something to teach everyone, only with more pentegrams and horned skulls and demon nuns.  This is from Tim Shafer, and it would appear he’s finally found a way to combine his brilliant writing with legitimately good gameplay, or at least in a combination with enough gameplay elements where something’s going to work at least once.  It even manages to make Jack Black interesting again, which is weird as he’s just playing Jack Black.  On the other hand, it’s easily the least embarassing thing Jack’s been involved with in years.

Half Minute Hero (PSP)

Please ignore this box.  This game deserves better.

Please ignore this box. This game deserves better.

It’s hard for me to express my enthusiasm for Half Minute Hero without sounding like a PR schill, so I’ll try to reduce my gushing to one line:  If you own a PSP, please buy this game. I cant’ even describe it correctly without it sounding like advertisement, so I’ll just do the lamest thing possible and link directly to the IGN preview video:

It’s just a shame such a great idea is being sent out to die by it’s publisher.  XSeed has all the marketing acumen of an Amish farmer– buying ads in Play is sort of pointless considering you’re advertising the game to the very sort of people who were going to buy the silly thing anyway.  I know you want to show willing,but would it be any more expensive to buy ads in an arena that doesn’t have 100% overlap with your pre-existing market?  Even buying ads in Clotide’s Sewing Savvy magazine would result in more sales than this.  It’s baffling.  These are the same guys who couldn’t get Retro Gaming Challenge to sell and as a result we’ll never see RGCII brought to America.  I hate these guys; they’re like the nega-universe Atlus, taking good games and making the developers involved wish they never heard of North America.

Speaking of baffling, I can’t figure out is why XSeed doesn’t take some creative control over the game and simply remove the FMV.  Half Minute Hero’s in-game graphics are an obvious ode to 8-bit sprite work, whereas everything outside the game itself looks like generic DS JRPG artwork wholly unrelated to anything else going on in the game proper.  It’s like the the guys from the Japanese production staff shuffled through some rejected commission work for unrelated games and called it a day:







Seriously though, how are these games related?

All this is ignoring the travesty of the North American boxart shown above.  I mean, just look at the Japanese version:



That looks like a game I’d be interested in buying!  They even managed to mangle the “30” in the NA version by adding some godawful generic Photoshop filter for no apparent reason.
Also, wait a week for this to appear for download the PSN store.  There’s just no good reason to buy this game on disc.

Mario And Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games (Wii, DS)

Looking at this is like chewing on tinfoil

Looking at this is like chewing on tinfoil

This game hurts my soul.  I don’t want to talk about it.

Somewhere someone has masturbated to this.

Alright fine.

Look, Nintendo.  I don’t like you and you don’t like me, and I can appreciate that.  But you’re just using Sega right now and you know it.  Look at the poor thing sitting over there drooling over itself and pretending people still give a shit about Altered Beast– It’s pathetic!  Just tell Sega that mixing Sonic in with Mario devalues your own franchise and be done with it.  You’ve humiliated Sega enough!  Somebody stop the damned match!

But before you do that let Sega make another F-Zero game.  kthx.

*Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers Darkness Time Sky (DS)

The RP stands for Rehashed Palbum

The RP stands for "Rehashed Palbum"

Did you know this is the 185th Pokemon released?  True story.  I am operating under the theory that Nintendo hasn’t actually produced a new mainline Pokemon game since the Gameboy Color and as simply been re-issuing the same game as kids grow out of the series.  This also explains the inclusion of the rare Pokemon LimpBizkitdon, references to the Matthew Shepard murder trial and the climatic final battle set in Columbine High School cafeteria.

*Dreamkiller (360)

Its always good when the VP of marketing hires his daughter to do promotional art

It's always good when the VP of marketing hires his daughter to do promotional art

Admit it.  I could tell you this was from Painkiller 2 and you wouldnt blink

Admit it. I could tell you this was from Serious Sam 2 and you wouldn't blink

Yup, that’s an FPS alright.  Good job, guys.

Way of the Samurai 3(PS3, 360)
Its like a buddy movie, but with more self-inflicted disembowling

It's like a buddy movie, but with more self-inflicted disembowling

Wait.  A free-action swordfighting game set in Feudal Japan where unseathing your sword during cut scenes is a gameplay mechanic?  Why haven’t I heard about this yet?  Why don’t I have this thing pre-orde–

I found your problem, sir!

I found your problem, sir!

Oh.  Well that’s too bad for Way of the Samurai 3.  Are developers like Aquire and Marvelous even aware of how badly they’re getting screwed over by their US publishers?  This is like if Maserati were to find out that their entire US distribution department was being handled by Crazy Pete’s Italian Imports and Discount Liquor Superstore.

Korea, where the women are healthy and well-oiled.

Korea, where the women are healthy and well-oiled.

I have nothing useful to say about this game; it’s a JRPG and I don’t “get” JRPGs that aren’t Persona 3 FES, I just want to keep typing until I have enough text to justify showing more artwork of the chick with the huge boobs without looking like an enormouch letch.

Oh, who am I fooling:

I dont even care that its basically the same englarged and reversed.  Just look at them!

I don't even care that it's basically the same englarged and reversed. Just look at them!

Dave Halverson dedicated something like 80% of this month’s Play magazine’s total mass to promoting Magna Carta 2– which, y’know, isn’t exactly a good indication of a game’s overall quality.

Buck Fever (are you serious?  Wii.  Probably.)
From an alternate-timeline Earth where Defender had you shooting Elk

From an alternate-timeline Earth where Defender had you shooting Elk

Sometimes I put things up here instead of in the shovelware section where they because the box amuses me.  Buck Fever!  That’s great!Seriously though.  If anyone who worked on this game is listening:

Only on the best selling console hardware in the world!

Only on the best selling console hardware in the world!

You guys developed this on a Gameboy Advance, didn’t you?  Just admit it.  It’s okay, you still developed a hunting game with a 4 player party mode and that’s awesome.

*Scene it?  Twilight (Wii)

This is not my beautiful Castlevania

This is not my beautiful Castlevania!

I’d say this is the most embarassing thing to happen to games this week but this

Yup, still there.

Yup, still there.

Still happened.  Godammit, Konami.

*Laevatein Tactics (DS)

Note:  Game inside not nearly as badass as box.

Note: Game inside not nearly as badass as box.

If you’ve already played through all five hundred DS Strat-JRPGs, well here’s another one.


Where the Wild things are
Cake Mania 3
Ju-On: The Grudge Haunted House Simulator
Sudoku Bal:  Detective
petz Pony Beauty pagent
Agatha Christie: ABC Murders

Cars Race-O-Rama

NEXT WEEK~!  BUY SPACE INVADERS EXTREME 2, YOU ASSHOLES!  Also something about Borderlands.  And I get to talk about wrestling.  But mainly SPACE INVADERS EXTREME 2, MOTHERFUCKERS!


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