I'm picking up Red Dead for sure. I was huge fan of the first one (AND its local multiplayer), and it seems as though every game critic and their dog is jumping on the wild west bandwagon. I will leave it up to you, my beloved readers, to put your case forward for what should be my other purchase this week.
Why can't I make the decision myself?
That's easy. Lost Planet 2 has been critically savaged, however Penny Arcade and Kotaku have thrown their conditional support behind the Capcom battler. I appreciate the views of these websites for two reasons:
1) Krahulik and Holkins (Penny Arcade) are hilarious and if you aren't reading their web comic you're doing yourself a disservice;
2) Both teams play devil's advocate well. Kotaku is one of the few gaming publications which has abandoned the redundant practice of assigning quantitative scores to videogames.
I know what you're thinking: You (as in I, Tristan Damen) assign scores (out of 10) to games. As a smaller opinion provider, I believe a score allows me to summarize and legitimise my opinion. Once there are branches of Unbearable Dutch in multiple regions and I have several talented, credible authors keeping it Dutch I promise I will ditch review scores. Back on point, with nothing but raw opinion, and no score to dilute their evaluation, the Kotaku team (and scheme) are a valuable purchase evaluation tool. If you can't tell, I am so far most interested in Lost Planet 2 when compared to the competition, but due to severe critical backlash I have been forced to weigh up my options.
The 3D Prince of Persia games are starting to feel a bit old-hat, and, after the 2008 meh-fest, I have only slight interest in the lastest iteration of the classic franchise. Modnation Racers sounds interesting, and the user-friendly track editor is bound to add longevity, but I have trouble playing any kart racer that doesn't feature Mario (or at least blue sparks). Carly has thrown her support behind Alan Wake as she loves the opportunity to watch me play survival horror games. The combat looks fluid, but from all accounts the character of Alan Wake is unlikable at best. Split/Second looks beautiful, but consensus is that the core mechanic makes the game feel very one dimensional. As a Dutch fan (ha!), the new World Cup game gets a quick mention. I have fond memories playing the mediocre 2002 iteration with friends on the Gamecube. There are others, but the last that warrants a mention is Splinter Cell: Conviction. Sam Fisher is the dark horse, as his new adventure isn't shiny new, hasn't been showered in unbridled praise and features a comprehensive suite of multiplayer modes.
With great power, comes great responsibility. Please peruse the list below and make your recommendation.
- Skate 3 (PS3/360)
- Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS3/360/PSP)
- Lost Planet 2 (PS3/360)
- Alan Wake (360)
- 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
- Modnation Racers (PS3)
- Split/Second (PS3/360)
- World Cup 2010: South Africa (360/PS3/PSP)
- Splinter Cell: Conviction (360)
- Mass Effect 2 (360), please note that I refuse to play through the first chapter again (zzzzzzzzzzzz)
As a post-script to Monday's post: The Halo:Reach experience has well and truly fizzled. While the new abilities do serve to add some variety and unpredictability to the conflict, the lack of vehicles (that truly differentiate Halo from its competitors) has meant that any further time spent with the beta has been unmemorable.