Until about 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West had inspired not even the faintest trace of interest from me. I had downloaded the demo over a fortnight ago, and had finally gathered the will to put it through its paces. After a matter of minutes I was completely engaged, having not seen visuals of this calibre since the opening sequence of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. To be blunt, we've all played this game before, with tried and true (read: entirely derivative) gameplay with flavours sourced from the God of War, Uncharted and Prince of Persia franchises. Even with such a familiar feel, the experience almost demanded the purchase of the retail release; the cinematic flair of the trial leaving me hungry for more.
When I say that I wasn't interested in Enslaved, I mean to say that I had only read one article about the game since it was announced. Screenshots looked pretty enough, but the thought of another action RPG failed to excite in anyway. I was interested in Castlevania: The Lords of Shadow, but that was more because of the input from Kojima Productions rather than the prospect of another Castlevania game (with borrowed gameplay mechanics). Having played the demos for both though, I can safely say that Enslaved looks as though it will be a more enjoyable adventure. If only because of the striking colour and less tough guy-centric tone. Both are now on the way to my place from Hong Kong, via Play Asia, thanks to a far stronger Aussie Dollar.
Also soon to arrive is the first sports game I've purchased since Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, NBA 2K11. In my youth, through adolescence and even into my adult years I had failed to engage with a sports game (with the sole exception of NBA Jam, BOOMSHAKALAKA!!!). After tagging along for the ride through many an instalment of the Madden, FIFA and Pro Evolution franchises; I finally found two games which stole my heart and months of my life: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 05 and NBA 2K5. Both games marked the first time that I ever played through season modes in sports titles, and I would wager that I spent as much time playing these games than those you would normally associate with my palette. More than five years on, I've decided it's time to make my return to the court. I don't know if I'll get through another two seasons with the Mavericks (Dirk + Nash = Epic Win), but I'm sure I'll invest a great mass of time in it all the same. The inclusion of the Michael Jordan focussed challenge mode is probably the greatest draw card. I never saw much of MJ on the court, but there is no denying that some of the feats he achieved in reality would be damn near impossible to replicate even if it is in a videogame.
One final (disturbing) note about my weekend. On several occasions this weekend, I had to strenously resist the urge to buy Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Up until the release of the 3rd instalment, the franchise captured much of my attention and money. After several underwhelming releases, I desperately want to believe that the series is back on track. I doubt it will have found its past glory, especially with Nickelback on the setlist.
Did anyone make any new acquisitions this weekend? What did you end up playing?