section by: Justin Clark and SCOTT!
SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2
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It really, I mean REALLY, says something about how much we all suck that fat Italian plumber’s fat Italian sausage that despite being trapped on a system that no one under the age of 65 still plays on a regular basis, despite the only marginal upgrade from previous iterations, and despite the once rewarding, intrepid challenges posed by this series replaced by a hand-holding, pussified series of tutorials (and this new game is apparently more guilty of it than the first), a new Mario game is still very much a big deal. A new Mario platformer, in particular, still elicits an instant Pavlovian response of WANT from the gamer brain.
Course it helps that Nintendo still polishes these things to a high shine, and are still the best damn platformers money can buy. Still, it is both pleasing and disappointing in equal measure that we have not outgrown these games to force Nintendo actually innovate rather than twenty years of tweaks.
UFC UNDISPUTED 2010
360, PS3, PSP
It really shouldn’t have taken as long as it did to get a decent mixed martial arts game out in the market (and no, oldschoolers, Pit Fighter DOES NOT COUNT), but UFC’s 2009 flavor was just what the doctor ordered in that respect. The new edition doesn’t add much, and doesn’t really need to, as Undisputed was an incredibly tight, in depth experience, true to its license. What it does seem THQ fixed is the training, and the showmanship aspect when you’re not in the ring, which was the one area THQ’s WWE games have the one up by their very nature. Is that worth $60, though?
360, PS3, PC
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About a month ago, this game would’ve been the game to beat in terms of arcadey racers go, but releasing on the heels of Split/Second is going to highlight every single damn one of Blur‘s flaws: namely the Project Gotham realism streak the game exudes when the powerups aren’t involved, which was keeping the demo from being as amazing, loose, and fun as it could be. There isn’t a flat out wrong choice between the two games. It all depends on how much you want to keep yourself tethered to the un-awesome limitations of reality.
And yet, a little further down the rabbit hole than Split/Second is ModNation Racers, Sony’s answer to Mario Kart, focusing on players doing the dirty work in terms of track and character creation. Applying the LittleBigPlanet ethos to a racing game isn’t a bad thing (and it’s a feature the Wipeout series should’ve adopted several games ago), but the jury’s still out as to whether the core gameplay is worth the trouble to begin with.
OOOOHH: ON THE DLC TIP
SPLINTER CELL CONVICTION: INSURGENCY PACK
Xbox Live Arcade, PC
800 MS pts
The first batch of Conviction DLC has come, bringing 4 new maps for the co-op Deniable Ops missions, with a cool 250 Achievement points to be earned along with them, bringing the total time needed to experience everything the latest Splinter Cell has to offer up to a solid 45 minutes.
ROCK BAND TUESDAY
Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill ($15.99/1280 MS pts)
· War Nerve
· Drag the Waters
· 13 Steps to Nowhere
· Suicide Note Pt. II
· Living Through Me (Hell’s Wrath)
· The Underground in America
· (Reprise) Sandblasted Skin
$1.99/160 MS pts per track
OK, deep breaths. It’s not Vulgar Display of Power. Let’s move past that fact. Let’s focus on the good. Flood, which is considered by many Dimebag’s best solo, is on this album. Knowing Harmonix, this is only the first wave of music from that band. And, hey, let’s not pretend this couldn’t be worse. Much fucking worse.
Course, if you still wanna complain about the lack of Cemetery Gates, Walk, or Five Minutes Alone, no one will blame you.