So now that I have a functioning (for the moment) 360 back in the house, I spent some time catching up on all the DL stuff I missed over the last month or so.
...Of course, while it was gone I was spending time catching up with all the PS3 stuff.
(WiiWare seems quiet for the moment, although the new Nintendo Channel is nice. If they're not going to do demos for the Wiiware titles, videos are the least they can do.)
Anyway, I've talked about some of this stuff earlier, but whatever... it's overview wrapup time!
PixelJunk Monsters: This has been on my unit for a while, but I got sidetracked and never finished it so I was trying to complete the 2P with the wife... I think I'm going to quit it again, though. It was really fun and addicting until I realized that winning a stage depends more on memorization than actually reacting to things in real time. When I lost a round thanks to the fire-resistant spiders that had never made an appearance before, I lost steam. A fun game, but honestly, I feel like it's more work than fun at this point.
PixelJunk Eden: Pretty damned sweet. Great tone, great mechanics, totally great visuals. It gets HARD, though... anybody who says this is relaxing didn't play it for very long. It's a toss-up between this title and flOw (which I loooooooove) for best art-house title on the PS3. Both are superb, really.
Siren: Blood Curse: I get that this series has fans, but I never liked the first Siren, and this one isn't changing my mind. The graphics turned me off, and the camera was spazzy. It was dark as all hell, too. There were a few other annoyances I had, but it just wasn't clicking with me and I don't think I'll be spending the cash on this one.
Tori-Emaki: kind of a cool artistic thing where a flock of crows flies over a 2D landscape rendered in that old-fashioned Japanese style. (Anybody know the correct term for the style?) It's not really a game, but still sort of cool. I think it was worth two dollars.
FaceBreaker demo: wow, what a completely repellent experience. the computer opponent (on easy, no less) started pummeling the sh*t out of me before the round even started. Forget boxing, it felt more like I was playing some sad wannabe version of Killer Instinct in the arcades—and that's not a good thing since this kind of buttonmashing I don't need... I can safely cross this one off my to-play list. There was a study done recently that seemed to suggest that demos actually hurt game sales, and FaceBreaker is the sort of game that clarifies that. The game left such a bad taste in my mouth I no longer have any interest in checking out the full version. In this case, I'd say that the demo succeeded in what I think a demo is supposed to do: prevent a person from wasting hard-earned money.
Tales of Vesperia demo: Meh. I never liked any of the other Tales games, and this one seems like more of the same. I'm pretty done with this whole anime-RPG thing for a while unless a pretty spectacular one comes along.
Dark Sector demo: I know this has been out for a while but I haven't gotten to it yet. Based on the demo, my view of it has actually risen quite a bit. It "felt" pretty right between the movement and targeting, so this one gets bumped up near the top of my to-play. A nice surprise.
Geometry Wars 2: Not a lot to say on this one, I'll be getting the full version any minute now.
Braid: I spent most of the morning playing through this, and I'm totally impressed for the most part. It's bold, revolutionary, and strongly encourages out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to problem-solving. Best described as a platformer that relies on time manipulation (and that's really not describing the game with any degree of justice) it's unlike anything else I've seen in a while. I wouldn't say that it's perfect since some of the puzzles can be extremely difficult—it's such a short game that it doesn't really have enough of a chance to acclimate a player to the intricacies of time manipulation sufficiently. That said, I'm still pretty high on it at the moment.
Schizoid: A combination of the completely overlooked Adventures of Cookie & Cream on PS2 (and DS) and hyper-hardcore shooter Ikaruga, this game has two ships of different colors flying around small screens full of enemies with teamwork as the core idea. The blue ship takes care of blue enemies, while the orange ship does the same with orange opponents, the trick being that one ship will often have to shield the other. I only spent about 10 minutes with it, but I was liking what I was seeing. More to come on this one, for sure.
That's it for now, but with all this said the only thing really on my mind is the remake of Bionic Commando: Rearmed next week.
Read more at Drinking Coffeecola blog.