Talk about a huge week. Just the release of Battlefield 3 alone would have been enough, but nope. You also have another reason for Kinect owners to jump around, something diehard Nintendo fans have been waiting a long time for, and a second chance for the latest House of the Dead!
It’s finally here, one of the biggest, most anticipated games of the entire year, and that is no lie. I’m talking about Battlefield 3 of course. Not too long ago, many folks were enjoying the pre-show beta; a casual search of YouTube will uncover gobs of gorgeous looking (as well as absolutely intense) gameplay footage. Along with plenty of technical glitches, but hey, it was a beta (and it’s assumed that most, if not all, will be ironed out by now). In many ways, it truly is the first step into a bold new form of game playing. Aside from all the stuff that we’ve come to expect… a greater, deeper campaign mode, and online modes that are richer in features and scope… is a brand new social component that’s built in. In addition to better matchmaking, Battlelog will also support text messaging and VOIP, plus you just know it’ll want to interface with your Twitter. Facebook, and Google + accounts, for better or worse. And let us not forget, the Online Pass, which helps the publisher recoup from their biggest threat: cheap ass gamers who can’t afford to a new copy (it supposedly also combats piracy). It’s been around for a while, but Battlefield 3 will be the one to cause the most amount of bitching and moaning… yet everyone will pay the piper, that’s just how it is. Welcome to the future! Xbox 360, PC, PS3
You know who gets zero respect in the Nintendo’s stable of beloved (and dependable) mascots? Kirby. First off, virtually every one of the DS games has been absolutely amazing, pushing all sorts of gameplay boundaries, but yet hardly anyone notices or pays him any mind. Sorry, being turned off by the color pink is just not a good enough excuse in the 21st century, guys. But it’s the console side where he gets the biggest shaft; for those who have been keeping track, Kirby only appears at the ass end of a system’s life space (I’m talking about proper entries, not to the side distractions). Kirby’s Dreamland 3 only appeared near the end of the SNES’s run, the same with Kirby 64 on the N64, and there wasn’t even one on the GameCube! In fact, this game was originally destined for that, but got pushed back further and further, and wasn’t the Wii launch title that many expected. But it’s just as well, since its emphasis on 4 player semi-co-op and semi-competitive gameplay is something that’s become the norm, via New Super Mario Bros, which give it something to strive towards (and to top).Wii
Before Kinect owners only had one reason to own the thing: Dance Central. Now they have two: the sequel! Hey, that’s better than nothing. So what does the follow-up have that necessitates a purchase? Plenty. New songs are a given, but as you’d expect from a Harmonix release, there’s plenty of great new songs to add to your party mix. Including cuts from Lady Gaga, Missy Elliot, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Justin Bieber, Daft Punk and… Enrique Iglesias? Sure, why not. Plus, all songs from the first game can be imported, thanks to a slight fee to help grease some virtual palms. And once you get a taste of the voice activated interface and the new simultaneous 2-player gameplay in both competitive and co-op, you won’t want to go back. Xbox 360
Something else is also finally here, the much talked about (at least around these parts) latest installment of the House of the Dead franchise. As it’s been noted already, it’s mostly the same game from before (from the Wii), which took the tried and tested light-gun series that’s all about blasting zombies onscreen (LOTS of them), and mixed things up a bit. Most notably is how the game was built outside of Japan, where all previous entries have come from, so right off the bat it has a far more Western feel than what we’re used to. Hence also the grindhouse vibe that the developers went after. Too bad most folks playing Wii games are a bit too young for that, so it’s hoped that the game will finally find a proper audience on the PS3 (the added horse power should also help). But the real story will be known after the wrapper comes off and the game is finally fired up. So get ready for my review in just 48 hours time!