Blog a Day 157of365: Weekly Roundup

Another Sunday with work to go to so it’s weekly roundup time.

A busier week this time round although I’m expecting things to slow down now that summer’s on its way.

I started the week with a revisit of Grand Theft Auto at B4HD. Happy days.

I was technically too young to play Grand Theft Auto when it first came out. Not that it stopped me playing it of course. I was fortunate that my parents, while conscientious, weren’t too bothered about me playing violent games providing I didn’t play them for ridiculous lengths of time. It helped that I’d always tell them about what the game involved and what I’d been doing in it which helped them trust me. They knew I probably wasn’t going to go on a murderous rampage because of the games I played. If nothing else I was far too stubborn a child to be swayed so easily by a video game.

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Then there was my review of Aqua for Resolution. A fun little twin stick shooter but entirely forgettable.

There’s a lot to be said in favour of shallow gaming. While recent releases such as Red Dead Redemption and Heavy Rain have tried to redefine their respective genres by creating a more cinematic experience, other games are quite happy to sit back and stick to what they know. This is clearly the case with Aqua, a game that never tries to be anything more than a mindless twin-stick shooter.

Full review

The next day brought two different iPhone roundups. The first for Resolution where I looked at Babel Rising, iPharaoh, Mirror Maze and Twin Blades.

iPharaoh feels rather like an anti Pac-Man. Players direct either monsters or rocks towards an intrepid explorer with an aim to stopping them collecting the Pharaoh within each level. There are 60 levels in all with each posing increasingly more challenging ways of completing them. iPharaoh never feels dissatisfying though with a smooth learning curve gradually introducing different elements to the game the further you progress. It’s quite a fast-paced game too, which makes quick thinking and dexterity vital.

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The second for where I had a look at the best games of the last couple of months.

Summer’s coming and so it’s the perfect time to load your iPhone with some new games ready for some outdoor excursions. There’s a varied offering this time round with an excellent conversion of a much loved beat ’em up title, two fantastic RPGs from Square Enix, a compelling twist on the classic Snake game, a football management game as addictive as crack, a quirky puzzler and a Zombie fighting Nun hack ‘n slasher. The iPhone Roundup has never been so eclectic!

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Then there was my Considered Gamer column on GamePeople. This time it was on Alan Wake.

Alan Wake wants to be emotive and psychological. It constantly barraged me with smug references to other works of fiction in the hope that I would compare the two favourably. But in the end this is fun to play, but by no means unsettled me as a person.

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And the week ended with my last Rumor Killers article for TGR. Shogun 2 was officially announced not long after the article went live which was rather handy! I also looked at Natal and Beyond Good & Evil 2. Here’s a snippit of the Natal piece.

It’s not long until E3, so it’s only fitting that our first rumor of the week focuses on one of the biggest potential announcements of the show: Project Natal. NowGamer has reported that an anonymous source close to Microsoft has revealed the new name for Natal, stating that it will be officially unveiled during Microsoft’s conference at E3.

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Another week down then. This week promises amongst other things, a review of No More Heroes 2 and much playing of Alpha Protocol.