All things considered, I had a great weekend. There were however, some bitter pills to swallow.
The demo for UFC Undisputed 2010 appears to have confirmed what I had suspected: This is a new coat of paint on a dilapidated house. Knock-outs appear to occur at random, with (what would normally be) killer blows rocking combatants only slightly and anti-climactic conclusions to all of the bouts I played through. Body blows are just as useless as they were last year. In one bout, I landed over 10 strong body kicks on my opponent with the strongest reaction involving them wincing in pain and Joe Rogan screaming "NICE BODY KICK!!!" The fighter wasn't winded long enough for me to follow up, and in the end I tapped out. The clinch system returns to many a WTF moment, and the ground game is equally as perplexing. I was not a fan of the 2009 iteration, nor am I a huge fan of the UFC (or any of its bastardised MMA cousins), but I was hoping for something a little more intuitive as a friend is an enthusiast, and I would like to be a competent observer of this full-contact fad (in broadcast and videogame formats).
The Split/Second demo offers up one race for consumption and it is a shame to see that Black Rock Studio couldn't make a definitive choice between kart racer and Burnout clone. Technically you don't have weapons, and you don't boost like in Burnout. What you have is the ability to activate Power Plays, which are (almost) unavoidable obstacles that will take out your opponents. You earn the ability to use Power Plays by getting air and drifting (no blue sparks). If you're in front of the pack, Power Plays are less than useless. In one race I was given the opportunity to change the track, which I did. Sure the control tower crumbling to the ground, obscuring the usual track was a visual spectacle, but I couldn't see how that provided any real benefit to me, or challenge to my opponents. As loyal reader 4Xscope had pointed out, Split/Second is only worth playing if you're coming from behind.
The only demo that didn't hurt to play was Rocket Knight. For those of you who haven't played the original, Rocket Knight chronicles the adventures of Sparkster, a possum with a jetpack! The visuals, while not as endearing as the Sega Mega Drive original, are still clean, cute and colourful. The action (best of all) is surpisingly faithful to the original, with plenty of slashing, rocket-dashing, and hanging upside-down by your tail from thin platforms. I won't follow through with a purchase (for now) because of the asking price. From all accounts, this is a 2-3 hour game that costs 1200 MSP/$19.95AUD. That to me, is slightly short of scandalous.
What games were you guys playing over the weekend? Hope it was a good one.