Wednesday, January 31, 2007


In my review of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, I convicted the game of being awesome. Now Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney -- Justice for All is out, and it brings to mind the legal concept of double jeopardy -- that you can't try someone twice for the same crime. Too bad. How many times can we let this pointy-haired lawyer rob us of our valuable time and assault our funny bones?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Getting it done early this week

Check out this Lost Planet review.

So far I've been disappointed with Capcom's Xbox 360 offerings (Dead Rising was the other one), even though each has had more than its fair share of selling points. I'm still expecting them to knock my next-gen socks off one of these days.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another gloomy review

This time, it's for Elebits.

Things are looking up, though. Should be getting Wario Ware: Smooth Moves this week, and we'll follow that up with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney -- And Justice For All, for which I am more excited than I can express. After that, who knows? Wintertime is barren. I may have to pick up a PS3 for the MotorStorm-Heavenly Sword one-two punch.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Guitar Hero 2

It's been confirmed that Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 will include Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," one of the ten best songs they could possibly have chosen. Right there, I'm glad that I've been dragging my heels on acquiring the PS2 version. On the other hand, the 360's Gibson Explorer controller is only about 3/5 as cool as the PS2's SG. But here's why I'm really excited about Guitar Hero II for the 360:

Expansion packs.

I've heard people bitching about these, as though they are opposed to microtransactions in principle. And I should probably point out that we don't know for sure whether Harmonix et al. are actually planning to introduce downloadable content at all, much less whether they intend to charge. But it's not a far-fetched proposition. If Bethesda can release whole new missions for Oblivion, it couldn't be hard for Harmonix to put together five new songs. I certainly wouldn't have any problem throwing down five bucks, or the MS points equivalent, to download a whole new group of songs every couple of months. Would you?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Here's a review of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. While I was writing this review, I looked at the Wikipedia entry for the series and discovered that there has been approximately one new game released every year since 1986. What's astonishing is the consistent quality. Super Castlevania IV and Symphony of the Night are bona fide classics, both among the best games of all time. Below that are the excellent original game, Castlevania III, Bloodlines, and the recent GBA and DS titles. The 3D games have been lacking, but really, what other series have been so good for so long? Every notable franchise I can think of has either had more failures than successes (Mega Man) or simply not had enough sequels to compare (Resident Evil). Maybe Mario or Zelda would count, but they've each had multi-year stretches without a good game (and in the case of Zelda, as you know, I'm not even a fan). Maybe Final Fantasy is the only good comparison -- fairly regular release schedule, consistently high quality. More to the point, when you think of the greatest franchises of all time, does Castlevania even enter your mind? It never occurred to me until now.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Those Gamestop guys are good

I stopped into Gamestop today to trade in a couple of games and reserve Lost Planet, and somehow walked out of there with a pre-order for Halo 3, which doesn't come out until November. Why did I do that? Did I want to help out the fumbling, obviously inexperienced clerk who was helping me out in full view of his overbearing, bluetooth-earpiece-wearing manager? Was I transfixed by the 60 GB PlayStation 3 units sitting on the floor behind the desk? Hard to say.

In other non-review news -- because I don't have anything in the paper this week, but I need to maintain my one post a week quota, dammit -- I actually did own a PS3 for about three hours last Friday. I spent four hours refreshing the Amazon page until the order button appeared, and reflexively hit the one-click button. After a few hours of deliberation, I realized that $600 isn't worth it right now for a system that has no games I want to play. So, you know. I've got principles. Also, my apartment doesn't have a buzzer and I didn't know how I'd be able to take delivery.