Full Release: Games


We’re officially in December, when the final crop of releases comes out the gate for the holiday shopping season. Though truth be told, most of the heavy hitters have made themselves be known already, since they had to be on store shelves in time for Black Friday (anyone get anything good? I’m pretty stocked that I was able to nab Dead Space: Extraction for just $25 on Amazon). Hence why pickings are somewhat slim this time around, but there’s still a few decent titles to help kick off the last leg of 09…

Avatar – The game based upon the new James Cameron flick, the one that he flat-out stated will change the course of filmmaking forever. Upon its release, there will be two clearly defined eras for movies: before Avatar, and after Avatar. Not making this up people, and full disclosure: I’m pretty sure this movie will be ass and tank in the box office. But the games themselves hold far more promise; the paper-thin plots work well enough in the context of the game, and the HD (PS3 & Xbox 360) variants feature nifty 3D graphics (with the aid of glasses, of course) that makes the already pleasing to the eye visuals even more so. Plus the very idea of Gears of War action but on an exotic planet that’s bursting with colorful flora is just cool by itself, though the real winner might actually be the real winner! Aside from having some of the finest visuals yet on Nintendo’s home machine, plus it employs a unique co-op gameplay mechanic that’s perfect for those who love the action/puzzle combination found in Zelda titles.

DiRT 2 – The latest in the long line of simply awesome rally racers has been on the consoles for a few weeks, and now it’s the PC’s turn. And you can bet that the “OMG, I can’t believe a video game can look so good” visuals are even better this time around. Though the real test is to see if it’ll be able to achieve 60 frames per second; despite it’s beautiful looks (actually, more like because of it), the console editions run at only around 30, which was enough to make racing snobs dismiss it forever. At the very least, the game’s creators, Codemasters, prove once again that they are the true king of the interface. Then again, British folks have this innate ability to whip up primo graphic design in general it would seem.

Rogue Warrior – Move over Sam Fisher, Solid Snake, and everyone else; time for the real-deal. His name is Dick Marcinko, and he is… say it with me… the Rogue Warrior. Whose actually a flesh & blood bad-ass; Richard “Dick” Marcinko also goes by “Demo Dick”, “Shark Man of the Delta”, plus “The Geek” (huh?) and is a former Navy SEAL turned author. And at long last we finally have a video game that details what it means to be a legit one-man army. Much like Snake, the dude has had to sneak behind enemy lines and dispense lighting fast punishment to unsuspecting victims when necessary. But unlike in MGS, Dick used to jab people in their eyes (a move he calls “The Optometrist”), cuz that’s how it actually works in the real world.

La-Mulana – For many moons, folks who are into the indie game scene have been waiting with bated breath of the WiiWare re-release of Cave Story, a darling of that world. And it’s still not out yet, but in the meantime we have the next best thing! The game is essentially a super-deformed Indiana Jones that borrows heavily from old-school platformers from Japan circa the mid-80s. Meaning it’s punishingly hard, among other things. Much like the upcoming Cave Story, also by Nicalis Inc, it’s getting a nice little audio and visual makeover, though it’s still certain to appeal to those who love the retro vibe. Since it’s easily the lowest profile of the games I’ve mentioned, here’s a trailer to show what one should expect (and want)…