Look at this! I bitch and moan and then, in an act of pure coincidence, something happens to appease me. The Xbox Live Arcade will be receiving a new title this Wednesday, ending the drought with a tease of a shower. Alien Hominid HD will be yours for the buying, in all of its 2D sidescrolling glory. The game originated on the Internet as a Flash-based oddity, made the leap to consoles last generation, and now is poised to cause the breaking of many pretty, white, wireless controllers the nation over. My penis is pretty upset with me for never conquering that game. Now I have a new excuse to redeem myself.

On a more serious note regarding penises, a recent academic survey of gamers has resulted in new published correlations between sexual preference and gaming habits. The survey provides some insights into the 10,000 gamers who contributed seriously to the project, though the findings don’t deviate much from that old chestnut common sense. What’s more interesting is that this is apparently the first academic survey to be administered to gamers of any stripe. Here’s hoping intelligent discourse will follow. Does this spell doom for "OMG UR A FAG"?

From sex, now, let’s turn to violence. I don’t know if you’ve heard about The Darkness, but the people reading over my shoulder haven’t, so I’m going to explain it briefly. It’s a comic property that’s being adapted for the PS3 and 360 by Starbreeze, the folks that brought us the awesome-in-every-way Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. The link will take you to a Joystiq post with a bit of discussion about the game and an embedded video from New York Comic Con of game footage and panel discussion. The video includes some awfully graphic gore and torture, as seen through an off-angle camcorder, and bears every appearance of kicking ass. Starbreeze deserves some wide recognition, in my opinion.

Another Sony executive is weighing in on the decision to cripple PS2 backwards-compatibility on PAL PS3s. Gamespot has a brief article with Michael Ephraim, Managing Director in the outback, in which it’s revealed that hardware limitations and cost-cutting resulted in the smaller library of supported legacy games. NTSC PS3s ship with the PS2 Emotion Engine chipset installed, so the emulation of old games is done on the hardware. PAL Ps3s are relying on software emulation, which is less reliable and takes more developer time to get functioning properly. C’est la vie. I’m still trying to figure out why I’m so in love with the concept of backward compatibility, despite never having played an original Xbox game on my 360, or a Gamecube game on my Wii.

I’ve already mentioned my love for Settlers of Catan, but there’s another German game of similar title that I’m also pretty fond of: Die Siedler/The Settlers. I spent countless hours playing the first Blue Byte game, two-player splitscreen with my brother. It’s coming out for the DS on March 28, but DS Fanboy reports that it will only be available at Gamestop (and affiliated chains). No big box shipments are currently expected, though for a sweet little title like this I can’t imagine the exclusive will last long.

This week, you will spend money, and be happy about it:

Jade Empire: Special Edition
The Sims 2: Seasons

Xbox 360:
Major League Baseball 2k7
Bullet Witch
Samurai Warriors 2: Empires

Major League Baseball 2K7
Formula One Championship Edition

SSX Blur

Major League Baseball 2K7
MLB 07: The Show
Samurai Warriors 2: Empires

Major League Baseball 2K7
MLB 07: The Show
300: March to Glory
Chili Con Carnage
Marvel Trading Card Game

Nintendo Virtual Console:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Xbox Live Arcade:
Alien Hominid HD