Here I am again as promised with part 2 of my Christmas Gaming Gift Guide. This time I'm featuring 10 games that interest me but I still have my doubts about. I would consider purchasing these if I see them in a sale or maybe after renting them first.
Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier - PSP - 27/11/09
I loved the original Jak trilogy on the PS2 with it's blend of classic 3D platforming, combat and racing, but I'm always a bit wary about sequels/spin offs that weren't developed by the original team. The game does look good though, but from what I've heard the controls aren't perfect and some of the mini games are repeated slightly too often. This time, Daxter is the one that gets Dark Eco infused super powers - transforming into a giant, damage dealing, lumbering beast.
Brütal Legend - Xbox 360, PS3 - Out Now
Tim Schafer has worked on arguably some of the best and funniest games of all time (The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Psychonauts), so you'd think I would be jumping at the chance to play his latest. The reason for my hesitation? Jack Black. OK, he was funny the first time, but he basically just plays himself in everything he works on and that can start to get irritating after a while. I'm also not that into heavy metal, so most of the in jokes and references to the culture will get lost on me. Having said all that, this does look like a decent game, so I will definitely come back to it later.
Batman: Arkham Asylum - Xbox 360, PS3 - Out Now
Now I'm quite fond of old batters but not really keen on the whole Splinter Cell stealth scene, so I'm a bit wary of this game. However, it is my understanding that you don't have to use stealth if you don't want to and can let your fists do the talking instead. It does look like a really well made game though, boasting voice actors who have actually worked on the animated series, and some great graphics. Definitely one to add to the collection eventually (i.e. when it can be found cheap enough).
LittleBigPlanet - PSP - Out Now
Media Molecule have basically taken their critically acclaimed platformer/creation tool and shrunk it down to the PSP, but the included levels are all new and there are new themes to play with too. I never really got into creating my own levels with the original, but I did play plenty of other user created levels for the PS3 version, and some of the things that people have managed to do with the creation tool is amazing. Provided you can download the levels onto the memory stick and take them with you, and not have to be online in order to play them, this could be the perfect game to play on the go.
Risen - Xbox 360 - Out Now
I love a good RPG, I do, and this game could just fit the bill. It has been getting fairly average scores from professional magazines and web sites, yet above average scores and praise from actual gamers, which leads me to believe that it is indeed worth checking out. Risen is an action RPG, in much the same vein as Oblivion and the like, and I think it has something to do with the Gothic series on the PC (you can tell I don't really know much about this game, can't you?). I'm not prepared to spend £45 on it but when the price comes down I'll be sure to pick this one up.
Divinity 2: Ego Draconis - PC, Xbox 360 - Out Now
Yes, another RPG. I loved the original Divine Divinity on the PC a few years ago, but didn't think the sequel (Beyond Divinity) lived up to it. This is in fact the "true" sequel, and takes the series from an isometric Diablo style RPG to a full 3D explorathon. From what I can gather from the trailer, your character turns about to be a Dragon Knight whose powers have lain dormant for quite some time (turning into a dragon, I guess), but they are about to awaken. Looks like it could be good but until I get to read and watch some reviews I will remain undecided on whether to give it a go.
Gran Turismo - PSP - Out Now
As I mentioned in part one, I really think that the Gran Turismo series has been surpassed by the Forza Motorsport series, but I still plan on playing this game eventually. It has taken Polyphony Digital an awful long time to put this one together so there had better be some major improvements over Gran Turismo 4. I have heard that they have made some rather strange design decisions though, like only making certain cars available on certain days. Is the PSP up to the task? In theory it should be, but I'm not so sure.
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - Wii - 27/11/09
The Umbrella Chronicles was a pretty good light gun shooter a few years back but fans of the Resident Evil series bemoaned the fact that arguably the best game in the series (Resident Evil 2) wasn't included amongst the various settings. That's because Capcom was saving it for the sequel, which also includes levels based on Code Veronica and Resident Evil 4 (all the games with Leon in them, basically). Wesker is bound to be up to no good again, darn him!
Muramasa: The Demon Blade - Wii - 27/11/09
Muramasa is a kind of follow up to PS2 game Odin Sphere, and features the same blend of sumptuous hand drawn backgrounds and action packed er, action. It blends quick and fast hack and slash action with RPG elements (yay!). It could be a tad on the hardcore side for my tastes (Odin Sphere was rock hard) but I'd like to give it a try.
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days - DS - Out Now
Since completing Kingdom Hearts 2 (review here), I've been looking forward to playing more games in the series. While there's still no sign of Kingdom Hearts 3, the DS and PSP are at least getting spin off games of their own. The downside to this is that the levels are mostly rehashed from previous games, and the games don't focus on main protagonist Sora but rather some of the minor characters from KH2 (Roxas and Axel). Another case of try before I buy for this one then!
OK, one more part to go next week - this time I will be looking at budget titles, and I will be incorporating both full retail boxed games and downloadable games for Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and WiiWare. I also hope to put together some awards this year like I did a few years back, and I'm currently giving some thought as to what should be my winner and runner up for each platform, as well as overall.