For the next month, the Australian release schedule is essentially clear of any must-have releases. The only exception to this broad statement is the late arrival of Demon's Souls on our shores. Demon's Souls was released in 2009 to a surprising amount of acclaim, even taking Gamespot's Game of the Year award. While the credibility of the aforementioned website has been in question since the dismissal of senior contributor (and soul of Gamespot), Jeff Gerstmann (now of Giant Bomb); the accolade forced me take notice of this brutally difficult, action RPG. I clamoured through Australian game retailers' websites and the responses of their ignorant staff in a vain effort to ascertain the Australian release date. I considered importing, but to add to the amount of money I was spending on videogames in the 2009 holiday season seemed to be a gross misappropriation of resources at the time. So I waited and here we are: 30 days from local release.
This lull provides ample opportunity for me to catch up on those titles I haven't yet shown as much love as I could have. First on the list is (and this may be a surprise) Super Street Fighter IV. While I gave it a hearty amount of time upon purchase, I must admit that I have been saving it for a dramatic battle against two friendly combatants which is fast approaching. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will also get some quality time. I've only played through the first two levels, but for any of you trophy whores out there, the game doles them (trophies) out at a rapid pace. To put it in perspective, I just finished the single player portion of Red Dead Redemption and after 22 hours of play (across both single and multi player modes) I have earned 21 percent of all available trophies. For Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, I have also earned 21 percent of available trophies for far less (about 2 hours total) play time. It's a half decent game, difficult and aesthetically pleasing, however the platforming sections feel forced and have led to much frustration. Finally there is Mass Effect 2, which I have acquired for half the retail price. I'm very much looking forward to continuing the adventures of Dutch Shepard, a battle-hardened paragon who looks as good he fights (in case you're wondering, that's pretty damn good!).
As mentioned previously, I have just completed Red Dead Redemption and a review will be forthcoming soon. The final chapters of the story have rescued the narrative from the brink, after the hazardous trip to Mexico. You really do need to play this game, as the conclusion is genuinely touching, if predictable. The sound design above all, is exemplary and ensures that certain moments will become ingrained in your memory. It's a flawed, epic tale of redemption (obviously) and the death of the Wild West.
Has anyone picked up any bargains at the half-yearly sales?
Dutch note: RIP Steph, the world is a lesser place without you.