This week’s round up of new games is a bit low-key compared to last week’s, but is special nonetheless. The holy grail of hardcore Japanese gaming has finally arrived in America, and at a far lower asking price than what goons on eBay have been demanding. Also, one of the finest arcade racing experiences… on a PC… gets another update. And last but not least, two of the best games the PSP has to offer are now in glorious HD!
The genre of space ship shoot ‘em ups has come far since the days of Galaga, for those who haven’t been keeping track. Sadly, it has become a nice-oriented affair, with all the most notable releases coming from Japan and sticking to Japan. Though a few notable standouts from recent years have popped up on modern consoles and the iPhone on this side of the ocean. However, now the definitive gold standard, originally released some odd 13 years ago has finally arrived in America. Originally for the not so popular Sega Saturn, its average price on eBay had been $250, minimum. But now one can finally partake in seriously one of the best games ever for the same price of a few Billy Joel songs for Rock Band. Xbox Live Arcade
Since the original HD revamp of PS2 God of War titles was so successful, and because God of War 3 has come and gone, what’s a fan of Kratos to do? Other than give him a spin in the new Mortal Kombat, naturally. How about a replay of the old PSP games in HD?! Both God of War: Chains of Olympus, which was a prequel of sorts to the original game, and God of War: Ghost of Sparta, which is sandwiched between the first and PS2 installment are finally on a proper display (where they sorta always belonged to be honest). In addition to the 720p visuals, it’s also in 3D for those with especially fancy sets, a locked in 60fps, Dual Shock 3 rumble support and Trophies, naturally. PS3
For years PC players have been enjoying the new high watermark of arcade racing. With the types of set pieces that one would expect in a Jerry Bruckheimer flick, and quite honestly some of the best graphics ever for any video game (in that “it can only be done on a PC… a very powerful PC” sorta of way). Now along comes the latest installment, which has you driving around in the desert. Again, an excessively pretty desert. And not just driving, since that mostly denotes going from point A to B in a straight line. Nope, you’ll mostly be drifting tight corners, going upside down for wacky loop-d-loops, soaring high in the air to make impossible jumps, spinning around thanks to the game’s wacky physics, and bouncing off of other cars like some high flying pinball game. Did I mention how drop-dead gorgeous the entire affair is? Again, console gamers, look on with awe and envy. PC