Whole lotta goodness for you guys this week, no matter which console you prefer. Or have sent back to repair, such as the case may be.

Monday, February 4th

Sins of a Solar Empire (PC)
Buy it from CHUD here!

A real-time strategy game that seems familiar at first glance. Like most RTSes you pick from three different factions, have to mine resources (in this case, asteroids) and then construct ships to take out your foes. But there’s been a lot of buzz building up on this one… the size of the battles are pretty amazing, as there are almost hundreds of different vessels you can use. It’s also undeniably beautiful. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Zoo Tycoon 2 DS (DS)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Only on the DS could you get away with putting big pictures of cute animals on the cover to sell your game. Like most sequels this has the required new creatures and levels. It’s also got a new Zookeeper mode where you care for the animals in a 3-d mode, much like Nintendogs. Along with that, there’s a multiplayer aspect where  you can trade zoo data.

 
 
 
Tuesday, February 5th

Turok (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Turok’s back, and much different. No longer is he the lone Native American hunter of olden times, now he’s a big burly white man named John Turok (no more Tal’ Set?) who is pals with Ron Perlman. I’m sure most of you have tried out the demo, and possibly been underwhelmed. I thought it was fun enough, but it’s nothing that you haven’t played a billion times before in FPSers. Let’s hope the actual game’s got more substance.
 
 
 
 
 
Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles (DS)
Buy it from CHUD here!

They did a pretty amazing job of cramming the console game into the DS, and you’re left with one of the best-looking (and most fluid) titles on the little system. One can only wonder how it plays… and if it’s any better than its big brothers. Course, it’s no exactly the same game- the world’s not as open and is much more linear, and there are minigames that utilize the touch screen, like when you go pick-pocketing.
 
 

Devil May Cry 4 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Another game I’m sure you’ve played the demo of, with more positive results. The series never got me that excited but this one looks like more of the same. The new character and his weird demon arm add a little variety to the proceedings, but it really doesn’t seem like much of a step up from the previous 3 games. Oh, yeah, and this is the first installment to be released on the Xbox. Hah hah.
 
 
 
 

Culdcept SAGA (Xbox 360)
Buy it from CHUD here!
 
Magic the Gathering on a Monopoly board. It’s not bad as far as these things go, but card games have a very weird fanbase. This one of course allows for online battles over Xbox Live to test out your hundreds of cards, and features a lot of famed Japanese artists and musicians. Still a collectible card game at the end of the day, though.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Twisted Metal: Head On: Extra Twisted Edition (PS2)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Oh, how I used to love Twisted Metal. The car combat was innovative for the time, and I don’t know how many hours I spent trying to finish the game with each character to see how their wishes got turned around on them. Twisted Metal 2 was the last good one though, as the series could never quite get more exciting than blowing up the Eiffel Tower. Of course, changing developers was the real reason things sucked, as the next few games were complete ass. The developers came back for Twisted Metal: Head On, easily the best in the series since their departure. This is the PSP version reborn for PS2, and it’s got a whole ton of new features. Seriously, this thing is packed. It’s got more levels, a new mode where you can walk around as Sweet Tooth, a feature called Twisted Metal Lost where you can play levels that were never included in final games, a documentary and the coolest part- the never before seen ending movies from the original Twisted Metal. Plus, it’s a steal at 20 bucks. Now let’s see a next gen Twisted Metal- or even Rogue Trip! Full Auto ain’t gonna cut it!
 
Downstream Panic! (PSP)
Buy it from CHUD here!

A puzzle game where you’re trying to bring fish back down to earth. The poor aquatic creatures have been sent into the atmosphere by a cyclone, and you’ve got bring them back without having them eaten by predators.  The game is EXTREMELY cutesy, so be warned. It does look and sound very reminiscent of Loco Roco, so that ain’t all that bad.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore (Xbox 360, Wii, PS2)
Buy it from CHUD here and then eat a bullet!

“Millions share the dream. Now you can live it!”

Fuck you, America. No seriously, fuck you and this stupid excuse for a show. Anyone who buys this lame rebranded Karaoke Revolution game so they can be criticized by the computer generated representations of the vapid “personalities” from the show- I hope you fall on a knife. Repeatedly. 
 
 
 
 
 

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Rise to Power (PS2)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Wow, they’re still making these? What is this, the 35th sequel? This is the first game in the series to be in glorious 3d, and the first one since the SNES to be released over here, although in Japan it’s still going strong. This one was actually originally released way back in 2004. As always, you play as the warlord Nobunga and take over everyone else to bring peace to the land.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Spiderwick Chronicles (Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PC, DS)
Buy it from CHUD here!

A game based on the movie based on the book. Never read it myself, but the fact that no one seems to even have a preview of the game published doesn’t bode well. You know about those movie tie-ins. It’s also a budget title. Two strikes!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

My Horse and Me (Wii, DS, PC)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Relax everyone! Here it is, the game you’ve all been waiting for! Now you can care for your own horses and enter them into competitions! I actually lowered the volume on the music I was blasting (Slayer’s Decade of Aggression) to view a video of this game, and my balls immediately fell away from me and scurried under the fridge. I had to use a damn broom to get them back. Don’t let this happen to you!
 
 
 
 
 
 

This Week’s Downloads

Monday’s Virtual Console Titles


Operation Wolf (NES, 500 Wii Points – $5)

Oh man, how bad ass was this game? In it, you blasted apart concentration camps trying to find hostages. There was nothing like it as a 10 year old. I’d have liked to see the Arcade version instead of the NES one, but we all know how Nintendo does things.
 
 
 
 
 

Columns III: Revenge of Columns (Sega Genesis, 800 Wii Points – $8)

Columns is Columns, there’s no changing that. There’s only one big change to this game, and that’s that you’re always playing against an opponent, trying to get them to lose.
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday’s Xbox Live Arcade Title

Poker Smash (Original – 800 Points – $10)



It seems that since the success of Puzzle Quest, developers have been trying to cram two different kinds of games together to see what works. This one? It’s Tetris and Poker. And Bejeweled. You’ve got to match cards to make poker hands to clear the board. Interesting concept, but let’s see how addicting it is…