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This Week in Gaming: Feb 21-27
By Chris West

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Well hello there! Fancy meeting you here! Take a seat, we’ve got some catching up to do….

Quick list of games this week:
2.22.11 – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – PC – Ubisoft
2.22.11 – Bulletstorm – 360, PC, PS3 – Electronic Arts
2.22.11 – de Blob 2 – 360, DS, PS3, Wii – THQ
2.22.11 – Dreamcast Collection – 360, PC – Sega of America
2.22.11 – Everquest II: Destiny of Velious – PC – Sony Online Entertainment
2.22.11 – Gray Matter – PC – Viva Media
2.22.11 – Killzone 3 – PS3 – Sony Computer Entertainment
2.22.11 – Knight’s Contract – 360, PS3 – Namco
2.22.11 – Nanda’s Island – DS – Mumbo Jumbo
2.22.11 – Radiant Historia – DS – Atlus
2.22.11 – TINCan! Escape – DS – Mumbo Jumbo

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Release Date: 02/22/11
Platform(s): PC
Developer: Ubisoft
Retail Price: $49.99
Description:
The critically acclaimed single-player experience of Assassin’s Creed is back and better than ever as Ezio returns in an epic struggle against the powerful Templar Order.
Now a legendary Master Assassin, Ezio must journey into Italy’s greatest city, Rome, center of power, greed and corruption to strike at the heart of the enemy. Defeating the corrupt tyrants entrenched there will require not only strength, but leadership, as Ezio commands an entire Brotherhood that will rally to his side. Only by working together can the Assassins defeat their mortal enemies.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood offers a never-before-seen multiplayer layer. Players can help the Templars by using Abstergo to train in the art of Assassination to eliminate the Assassins once and for all. Players can choose from a wide range of unique characters, each with their own signature weapons and assassination techniques, and match their skills against other players from all over the world in different game modes.
Summary:
I played AC1 and AC2 for hours on end. Both games were and are extremely addicting. Brotherhood simply improves on this, allowing you to control more than just yourself. This game has actually been out for a while already, but the PC version releases on the 22nd.
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Bulletstorm
Release Date: 02/22/11
Platform(s): 360, PC, PS3
Developer: Electronic Arts
Retail Price: $59.99
Description:
Bulletstorm brings new furor to first-person shooter action thanks to its signature ‘kill with skill’ gameplay. The game tells the story of a futuristic confederation protected by an elite band of mercenaries: Dead Echo. When Dead Echo members Grayson Hunt and Ishi Sato learn they’ve been working for the wrong side, they’re betrayed by their commander and exiled to the far reaches of the galaxy. In Bulletstorm, Grayson and Ishi find themselves surrounded by hordes of mutants and flesh eating gangs in an abandoned paradise. They have two objectives: get off the planet alive, and exact revenge on the man who sent them there.
Players step into the role of Grayson Hunt complete with an arsenal of over-the-top combat moves and outrageously large guns. Bulletstorm’s array of distinct ‘skillshots’ produces unprecedented levels of frantic gameplay and yell-inducing satisfaction. The skillshot system rewards players for inciting mayhem in the most creative way possible. The more insane the skillshot, the more points players collects to upgrade their character and unlock weapons, which then allows them to execute even more creative moves and exaggerated skillshots.
Summary:
I’m not sure about stores on other consoles, but there is a demo available for this game in the Playstation Store. I’ve downloaded the demo, and this game appears to be pretty fun. It seems like this game is centered around killing foes in creative ways, instead of just killing them. This is pretty fun to do, and the super slo-mo camera makes it easy to blast people’s heads off, but it seems like it would get repetitive. You can kill people in the traditional way, but that only awards a small fraction of the points you would get. It looks like an interesting title, and its at least worth downloading a demo.
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de Blob 2
Release Date: 2.22.11
Platform(s): 360, DS, PS3, Wii
Developer: THQ
Retail Price: 360, PS3 $49.99 / Wii $39.99 / DS $29.99
Description:
In de Blob 2, Comrade Black is back and so is his war on color. Disguised as Papa Blanc, Comrade Black rigs the city’s election in order to win and take control of Prisma City with his brainwashing new cult. That is, until de Blob bounces back in full color-spreading force with his revolution to restore color and life back to the city and its residents.
In the colorful sequel, de Blob will paint his way through the enormous and pollution-filled Prisma City accompanied by an interactive soundtrack and an arsenal of new tricks to confound his enemies. Joining de Blob will be a new robot sidekick, named Pinky, who will help him blast enemies, disable traps, and negotiate the challenging levels of Prisma City. The game will also present players with new side quests, which allow players to upgrade de Blob’s abilities.
Summary:
Seems like a cross between a puzzle game, and an adventure game. You are a blob-man-squishy-jumperator-thing that travels around solving different puzzles to progress through the game. I didn’t play de Blob number one, so I don’t know how this one compares. I do know, however, is that you should pick this one up on the Wii if you’re getting it. It’s $10 cheaper over there and the graphics aren’t that snazzy anyway.
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Dreamcast Collection
Release Date: 02/22/11
Platform(s): 360, PC
Developer: Sega of America
Retail Price: $29.99
Description:
The Dreamcast Collection is a compilation of popular Dreamcast titles including Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure, SEGA Bass Fishing and Space Channel 5: Part 2. Players will get to enjoy four very different Dreamcast experiences, from hopping behind the steering wheel of Crazy Taxi, to taking things a little slower by luring in their fish before catching them hook, line and sinker with SEGA Bass Fishing. Alternatively, take over as intergalactic news reporter Ulala in Space Channel 5: Part 2 and dance your way past the evil Rhythm Rogues, or make it all about speed in Sonic’s first Dreamcast outing, Sonic Adventure!
Summary:
Call me sheltered, but I only ever knew one person who owned a Dreamcast. However, that’s all it took for me to get my hands on some of their great games. If you are a Dreamcast fan or just are a hipster who wants to feel all nostalgic-like, maybe you should pick this one up.
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Everquest II: Destiny of Velious
Release Date: 02/22/11
Platform(s): PC
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Retail Price: $39.99
Description:
EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious is the seventh expansion for the critically acclaimed EQII franchise. The Destiny of Velious package also presents an all-in-one compilation pack loaded with the groundbreaking EQII base game, seven expansions and three exciting adventure packs.
Following the events of Sentinel’s Fate, the twin Swords of Destiny, Soulfire and the Qeynos Claymore, have been drained of their powers, setting the stage for the destruction of the EverQuest universe. The prophecy known as Age’s End begins to unfold in the legendary continent of Velious and it is here where the war for Norrath will arise. For there to be any chance to save Norrath, the Swords of Destiny must be restored. Norrath’s guardians who undertake this burden will be tested by labyrinthine dungeons, the harsh Velious tundra and powerful creatures including the God of War himself, Rallos Zek. To succeed would mean ultimate glory. To fail would mean annihilation.
New and veteran players are transported to the legendary Great Wastes of Velious, where towering dungeons, dangerous beasts and epic storylines provide the ultimate MMO experience. EverQuest II Destiny of Velious launches its adventures into the sky delivering impressive features and gameplay, including flying mounts.
Summary:
So with a little bit of research, I am led to believe this game is free to play now. Subscription fees are no longer necessary. The Everquest II website says its “Web Based” access to the game. I don’t know if its the same as buying the games and expansions, but hey, it’s free. If you havn’t tried Everquest II and want to, this would be the perfect game to buy and the perfect time. This expansion includes all previous expansions as well as “Destiny of Velious.”
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Gray Matter
Release Date: 02/22/11
Platform(s): PC
Developer: Viva Media
Retail Price: $29.99
Description:
An adventure by Gabriel Knight designer Jane Jensen. Mixing mystery and the supernatural, Gray Matter tells the story of neurobiologist Dr. David Styles. Since the death of his wife in a horrible accident several years earlier, Styles has adopted a reclusive lifestyle, spending his days inside his English country estate, Dread Hill House. Things take a turn for the interesting when American Samantha Everett, student and part-time street performer, becomes Styles’ assistant. After an innocent start, inexplicable events start to occur. Following visitations by Styles’ dead wife, the quest to uncover the mysteries of Dread Hill House begins. Players control both Dr. David Styles as well as Samantha Everett in their bid to uncover the secrets and find out the truth. While Dr. Styles research leads him into an investigation into the intricacies of the human mind, the player will have to tackle stage magic as Sam to solve puzzles.
Summary:
This looks like an interesting game. It appears to be a hidden-object type game, but they put a little more work into this game to make it feel more involved. Story line looks interesting, so this might turn out to be a pretty cool game.
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Killzone 3
Release Date: 02/22/11
Platform(s): PS3
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Retail Price: $59.99
Description:
Continuing from Killzone 2, players find Emperor Visari, the viscious dictator of the Helghast, dead at the feet of Sev and Rico. However this war is far from won. In the wake of Visari’s death, Helghan has devolved into a world of political scheming, rapid infighting, and murder. Now, the two most powerful men on Helghan are fighting for complete and utter dominance while Visari’s vision of Helghan is in jeopardy. With limited supplies and no re-enforcements, the ISA must now fight not to win a war, but to survive a lost one.
In Killzone 3, players once again face the hostile Helghast army, battling overwhelming odds in the fight for human survival. Killzone 3 delivers a single-player campaign as well as full featured multiplayer mode.
Summary:
I played Killzone 2 for a while, and I wasn’t a very big fan. The controls were a little too sluggish for my taste, so I didn’t play very long before becoming frustrated. I will admit that everything else was fantastic except for that. Killzone 3 improves in various ways, and looks like it has potential to be an amazing game. I’ll probably at least rent this one, so make sure you listen in to our podcast every week if you want any updates.
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Knight’s Contract
Release Date: 02/22/11
Platform(s): 360, PS3
Developer: Namco
Retail Price: $59.99
Description:
In a time of swordsmen and magic, Knights Contract follows the twisted tale of Heinrich, an immortal executioner, and Gretchen, a resurrected witch. Once the victim of Heinrich’s blade by the order of the game’s antagonist, Dr. Faust, Gretchen now has him under her control as the two must work together to rid the land of the supernatural foes who are cursing its people with the black spell of death.
Armed with a razor sharp scythe and explosive witchcraft, players will use these tools with spectacular effects in order to return civility to the land. As players succeed in their journey, they can deal tremendous damage to their on-comers or unleash a gruesome finisher by coordinating the efforts of Heinrich and Gretchen. However, players must also keep a close eye on Gretchen as her mortality is the key to the duo’s survival as Heinrich can never be vanquished. It’s time to let the combos fly and lay waste to the hordes of darkness with a liberal dose of medieval panache.
Summary:
After watching the video for this game, all I can really say is this: “I want that scythe.” That thing looks amazing. Instead of working to save the chick at the end of the game, you work to save the chick all the way through the game. Interesting twist I suppose. Combine your bitchin scythe with her witchy wonders to hack and alacazam your way past monsters n stuff.
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Nanda’s Island
Release Date: 02/22/11
Platform(s): DS
Developer: Mumbo Jumbo
Retail Price: $19.99
Description:
When Nanda discovers that the island has been deserted, it’s up to the young shaman to revive the flora that once blossomed there!
Summon the clouds and use the limited amount of water each carries to restore the island’s lush flowers to their former beauty. Draw and erase lines to guide the water’s flow to the most needed areas and watch as once struggling vegetation begins to bloom again.
Help Nanda perfect the rain dance and revive life on the island!
Summary:
This game looks like it came straight from a cell phone. Terrible graphics and repetitive soundtrack, mixed with the simplest of gameplay seems normal on a touch-screen mobile game, but on the DS? Do yourself a favor and buy 20 games for your iPhone instead of handing over cash for this thing.
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Radiant Historia
Release Date: 02/22/2011
Platform(s): DS
Developer: Atlus
Retail Price: $34.99
Description:
Radiant Historia is a Japanese-style RPG created, in part, by several of the key designers behind Radiata Stories. Set in the world of Vancool, the game has you playing as Stok, a spy with the intelligence agency of the nation of Alicetel. Your country is at war with neighboring Gran org, whose ruler Queen Protea is blamed for the drying of the land and a strange disease that turns people into sand. The game begins when Stok and his subordinates are sent into Gran org territory to rescue a captured spy. They end up getting caught themselves. Stok suffers a great injury and briefly enters the world of Historia, where he’s given the ability to travel through time and space. You’ll be using this ability as you play through Radiant Historia. The game has you traveling through time, and also through space as you switch off between parallel worlds.
Summary:
A nostalgic-looking, turn-based RPG. If I were looking for this type of game for my DS, I think I would go with the game we talked about last week, “Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation.” Obviously this is just my uneducated opinion, but you can’t do anything about it….
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TINCan! Escape
Release Date: 02/22/2011
Platform(s): DS
Developer: Mumbo Jumbo
Retail Price: $19.99
Description:
When the smartest, nicest robot in the world goes missing, it’s up to you to help him find his way home! Dr. B. Hasty created the beloved TINcan, her pride and joy and one of the world’s friendliest robots. But just before the good doctor unveils her invention to the world, Dr. E. Ville kidnaps TINcan! Now the team is looking to you to help find him!
An easy-to-learn, addictive puzzler, TINcan takes you through 55 levels of maze fun that can be easily navigated with the NDS stylus. Plot your strategy and put your plan in action in TINcan!
Summary:
Oh Mumbo. How do you stay in business when you put out such mediocrity? Once again, this looks like a cell phone game. You have to work your way out of simple puzzles. You move one square at a time while trying to avoid enemies. Crappy graphics. Mediocre gameplay. $20 price tag.
And just something I was wondering. How can you be “beloved” if you haven’t been unveiled yet?
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Well thats all for this week! Be sure to check out the podcast for updates, and come back next week for a whole new list of upcoming games!

 


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