It’s a week for smaller games, but there’s some gems here. We start with a game that came out yesterday…

Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
Buy it from CHUD here!

It’s out! I am so fascinated about this game. There’s been some great buzz building, and this could very well be the next sleeper title for the little DS. It’s a puzzle game with 130 puzzles, including some damn tricky ones, by the look of things. It’s also got some fancy dancy animation, and voice acting! (Hey, it’s strange for a DS title) Even better, they plan to continue to supply you with more puzzles via the DS’s wifi capabilities, and after only being out for one day there’s already a new one available for download. Awesome.

Tuesday, February 12th

Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360)
Buy it from CHUD here!

All the J-RPG dorks have already wet their pants waiting for this one. You play a character named Kaim, an immortal who doesn’t remember anything about his past. You’ll join up with the usual party of people to fight in annoying random battles (now with longer load times!) and uncover your past (and future). The reason this one’s getting so much attention? It’s got the music guy and producer from the Final Fantasy series on board. Big hopes for this one.
Conflict: Denied Ops (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
Buy it from CHUD here!
Another in the inexplicably long series of Conflict games, that looks just as appealing as the other games in the series (ie, not at all). This is another first person shooter (cause I’m sure you don’t have enough average ones of those!) set in conflict-laden areas of the world. The game comes with co-op, but good luck convincing a friend they should play this with you instead of Gears of War.

Jumper (Xbox 360, Wii, PS2)
Buy it from CHUD here!

The movie comes home as a 3rd person action adventure game. Yeah, yeah, it’s a movie game, so don’t expect anything too special. It does seem to be doing some interesting things with the teleportation aspect though, as you can attack enemies from all sides by “jumping” around them. The greatest aspect of this game is the fact that you can teleport enemy soldiers to random, dangerous locations around the world and leave them there. Now that’s just funny.
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements (Xbox 360)
Buy it from CHUD here!

This rpg actually looks pretty good, and has a really fun demo up on the marketplace. But like most any rpg of this style (first person perspective, huge world, epic in scale) that comes out, it has to go up against the big daddy of all of them… and not just any game can compete with Oblivion. We’ll see how this one does.
Dungeon Explorer: Warrior of the Ancient Arts (DS)
Buy it from CHUD here!

You might not remember Dungeon Exporer, even though it hit the Virtual Console last month (check the Turbo Grafx 16 section). Konami’s revamped their old fantasy game and is bringing it to handhelds. A PSP version will be hitting in a week, and  interestingly enough, they’ll tie into each other. The DS game takes place hundreds of years after the events from the PSP game. Both versions will support multiplayer.

Wipeout Pulse (PSP)
Buy it from CHUD here!

Do people still play Wipeout? Who are these people? The first one was cool for the time (32 bit graphics!! Techno! It’s all new and shiny and jaggy!) but c’mon. It hasn’t really advanced since then. Regardless, they continue to sell well, so here’s another sequel for you fellas to check out. This time, it’s online.
Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon (Special Edition) (PS2)
Buy it from CHUD here!

The PSP game made for PS2, as most good games do. Harvest Moon hasn’t changed much as a series over the years, but this was considered a side-story, a more futuristic take on the series. You control a robot that looks human. See! Futuristic. There’s bound to be some extras features over the PSP version, but no idea what they are…
Pirateville (PC)

Laziest title ever? There’s a ton of better titled locations they could have thought up. Bootyland. Pillage Street. Landlubber Ave. Swashbucklersberg. See? And anyway, this is just a boxed version of an online game. You want real pirates? Buy Sid Meier’s Pirates instead.

Sam & Max Episode 203: Night of the Raving Dead (PC)
Check out their site here.
The third episode of Sam and Max’s second season keeps things going beautifully. We’ve got vampires, zombies, and even a Frankenstein’s monster with a heart of gold to deal with. It’s a fantastic episode, and I’ll have a full review up tomorrow for it, but just know that this series can really do no wrong. It’s coming out earlier than the usual Thursday launch, as this game will be released on Gametap Tuesday, followed by its release on its official site the day after.

This Week’s Downloads!

Monday’s Virtual Console Titles-

Harvest Moon (SNES, 800 Wii Points, $8)

This is the first game in the series, the simplest one. People will love the fact that this is finally available for download. The SNES cart is one of the most rare, and regularly fetches obscene prices on ebay. This is a little cheaper.

Lords of Thunder (TurboGrafx 16 CD-ROM, 800 Wii Points, $8)

An old shooter that also was released on the Sega CD. You play a flying knight that chops down enemies in a fantasy setting. Unlike most linear shooters, this one allows you to choose which level you want. That’s not the only riff on Mega Man, as you can upgrade different types of armor to help you on your way.

Wednesday’s Xbox Live Arcade title-

Discs of Tron (Arcade – 400 Points – $5)
Yep, this is the second Tron game for XBLA. This one was apparently originally supposed to be in the first Tron arcade game as one of the many minigames, but held from it and made into its own. This version will have updated graphics and sound, the usual.

Commanders: Attack of the Genos (Original – 800 Points – $10)

A turn-based strategy game by the guys behind Red XIII and the incredible (and criminally overlooked) Deathrow. The game’s inspired by War of the Worlds and has some nifty graphics. Along with the campaign (which has two different endings) there’s the usual group of multiplayer modes. I’d say I was looking to check the demo of this one out, if my Xbox weren’t currently on the way to Texas.

Also, the Marketplace has some new Xbox originals available. For 15 dollars you can own a digital copy of Black, Ninja Gaiden Black, Sid Meier’s (Black) Pirates.

Next week brings us some games like The Club, Fifa Street 3, and most importantly, Apollo Justice.  Seen ya then.