Thursday, July 07, 2005

Upcoming Reviews/Previews

Just a heads up for those that care. You will be seeing reviews for Arc the Lad: End of Darkness and Psychonauts on the PS2 from me. You will also be seeing a preview of the upcoming Codename: Panzers, Phase Two, an RTS game coming this month to the PC.

From what I've played so far the Arc game is not very good. It's been a while since I played an Arc game, but this game is just not a very good RPG. I never played the previous game, but that one was supposedly turn based whereas this one is straight action for battles. It was probably made that way for the online component. The AI is dumb and the first few hours are agonizing as you go through tons of text in order to even start the meat of the adventure.

Psychonauts on the other hand is a really good game. This isn't much of a surprise given that Tim Schafer of LucasArts adventure game fame is behind it. It is surprising the game is so good though after going through development hell of losing their original publisher (Microsoft) and being picked up by Majesco and a PS2 version being made as well (the version I'm playing). The framerate is jumpy on the PS2 version (I've heard the Xbox one is pretty clean comparatively), but it doesn't get in the way of the gameplay.

Codename: Panzers, Phase Two is also an excellent game for the roughly 80% finished version I got. I never played the first game, but it was well received by critics even though it came out around the time of the RTS glut of late last year (Rome: Total War, Dawn of War, etc.). The tutorial is exceptional and really helped me get into the game. It's quite nice that you don't have to mine resources and build stuff like you do in the Command and Conquer games and its ilk. Instead it is a straight forward strategy game. You can even choose the Allies or Axis at the beginning and if you pass both you can also play as the middle ground. I haven't been able to play online yet because I don't see anyone on, but I hope to catch someone to see how good that is. Expect a preview from this soon and the game will be released later this month.

Battlefield 2 obviously takes a back seat to these games, but I will try to continue to get some time in for it. With NCAA Football 06 coming next week things will get a bit hairy possibly.