No wonder I’m knackered! It’s late, I’m tired, here’s the weekly roundup:
First up, a Lords of Midnight revisit for B4HD. Brilliant game that I’ve still yet to complete!
We’ve all been there. That one game that no matter how many times we try, we can never complete it. That damned, cursed wonderful game. In my case it was Lords of Midnight on the Commodore 64.
I came across the cursed game by accident. After a rather complicated subscription error, far too short-lived magazine Commodore Force apologised by sending me a bag full of games that had been lying around their office. As a rather poor 9 year old this was heaven. Amongst the generously large pile of games was Lords of Midnight, bundled together with a compilation of other games that were set to change my life forever.
Then there was a review of Nier for Ve3tro. A flawed game indeed!
Square Enix feels increasingly like a publisher trying to be a bit more Western than it really is, all in the name of increased profits. This is all the more apparent when it comes to the recent release of Nier.
Nier is clearly a game suffering from an identity crisis. It combines quirky Japanese traits with staid Western undertones that makes it frequently a bit of a mess, but consistently enjoyable to play.
Then a very, very controversial (it seems, it obviously wasn’t intended that way!) review of Heroes of Newerth for Resolution.
Online multiplayer games live and die by the strength of their community, which is a shame for Heroes of Newerth. While the game itself contains all the appropriate components to be somewhat enjoyable, it’s the frequently obnoxious player base that’s likely to put you off giving it a well-deserved chance.
Following that was a review of Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 2 for Resolution. Much more fun!
Vampire elves and love-struck moles? Yes, it’s back to business as usual for Sam & Max. Or should I say Sameth and Maximus, or something, as this time around the pair make way for their early 20th Century ancestors in their quest to steal the Devil’s Toybox. Set in 1901, this second episode is a remarkably enjoyable change of pace, made all the better by its non-linear structure.
Then a review of Star Ocean: The Last Hope International for VideogameUK. Yet another flawed RPG.
Nearly a year after the release of Star Ocean: The Last Hope on the Xbox 360, along comes the PS3 version with a fancy new International suffix to boot. The PS3 version doesn’t offer any huge changes but it does offer up new audio tracks in the form of Japanese voice acting. Anyone who’s suffered the English dub available in the Xbox 360 version will greatly appreciate this. But just how has Star Ocean: The Last Hope aged? It’s a mixed bag of fun but with a harsh old fashioned JRPG exterior making it unwieldy for those used to the newer, friendlier RPGs that are now on the scene. Think of Star Ocean: The Last Hope as Final Fantasy XIII’s antithesis in terms of accessibility.
And my newish column for Resolution, MMO Outlook, which focused on Lord of the Rings Online.
Lord of the Rings Online is the greatest MMORPG that you probably haven’t played yet. You know I’m right. I’m just as bad, you see. Like you, I have to juggle an MMO subscription with a life that invariably cuts into my gaming time far too often.
A review of ModNation Racers for the PSP for GoOnline. I rather enjoyed it.
It’s impossible not to compare ModNation Racers to Mario Kart and LittleBigPlanet. ModNation Racers really is an amalgamation to the two. Fortunately that’s no bad thing to aspire to considering both games are extraordinarily good fun to play. ModNation Racers on the PSP very nearly achieves this level of fun but it does falter along the way.
A review of the flawed Alan Wake for VideogameUK nearly brought the week to an end.
It’s been a very long time coming for Alan Wake to finally hit our Xbox 360s. Finally, at last, it’s here. Shame then that it still feels all too rushed in places despite its five year development time. Alan Wake feels more like a game that would have been stunningly brilliant two or three years ago. Now, while still enjoyable for the most part, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as innovative nor as exceptional as we all hoped it would be.
But the end came with my regular Rumor Killers article over at TheGameReviews. That’s over here
Phew. Very long week!