Monday, November 19, 2007

Game of the Week (11/18): Mass Effect

The gaming crunch finally subsides after this week. What is weird is that many of the games that are shipping this week I already have in my possession, but we'll get into that later. This is another tough week to pick a Game of the Week, but I think it has to go to:

There are some other interesting games coming out (highlighted below), but the honor has to go to Mass Effect, the next RPG game from BioWare. I already have my copy and played it a bit last night (I have a lot of games on my plate at the moment, including review needs) and I have to say I am quite impressed by the graphics, the story, the huge amounts of text/voiceover in the informational screens and even the gameplay itself. I just finished the first planet and will probably play more, but it isn't on the front burner at the moment. Yes, it is a lot like Knights of the Old Republic, but things are handled mostly in real-time outside of switching your teams weapons before a fight. The game takes things from Gears of War, such as reliance on cover, and makes it an engaging experience. No question this is the Game of the Week and should fulfill everything people have been looking for in an RPG on the 360 finally.

Other games this week:

Unreal Tournament III (PC): Played the demo and was pretty impressed by it, but I am not a very good UT player when compared to the masses out there. The game is as fast as I remember the last version being and a lot of fun should be had. I'm not sure if this will stand above other FPS games that have valid online components or not though.

Link's Crossbow Training w/ Wii Zapper (Wii): Not excited in the least about this. From all accounts the actual Wii Zapper controller is a dud and really won't amount to much in the end. It is cool that it combines the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, but I can only see its validity going so far.

Rock Band (360/PS3): Yes, Rock Band. I've never really been a big fan ever since it was announced. Harmonix seems to be a highly regarded developer (which they are given the pedigree of games they've made) and everyone falls face first into loving them. From all accounts, the difficulty in Rock Band is not as high as Guitar Hero III (expert in RB is like Hard or possibly Medium in GH terms) and I would think that would turn a lot of people back from getting this game, but what do I know? I think it is cool for people that want to do stuff with 3 others, but for me I'd rather have single or dual guitars to play with.

Time Crisis 4 (PS3): Still a pretty popular series, but it would be hard to justify $80 for a short game with a gun included don't you think?

Godzilla Unleashed (PS2/DS): I did some interview questions a while ago for GameShark, but I have no clue if they were ever answered or not. The game from all the movies and developer diaries has looked good, but the play is the true test. Much like the recent Dragon Ball Z game the Wii version is delayed a few weeks from the PS2 release.

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3): Sony did end up sending it out early last week, but I took that out of last week's GotW stuff since it was looking like the 20th was still the release date. I have the game, but have not gotten a chance to play it as of yet. Much like Mass Effect it is on the back burner

Soulcalibur Legends (Wii): All indications are that this is a bad game, which is too bad considering it could have been a worthwhile 3rd party release on the Wii (of which there are very few).