The Backlog: Stephen Colbert is Funny Edition
No silly memes, no riffing on major world news events -- this is just your typical, run-of-the-mill backlog. But isn't that cause enough for celebration? No? Hm. Well, here, check out Stephen Colbert's exclusive preview of Microsoft's Project Natal:
The stars have aligned. Not only will this year mark the release of games by Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman -- three veterans of the Golden Age of Adventure Gaming -- but it will herald the resurrection of Monkey Island, the game that brought the art of insult swordfighting to the masses.
In celebration of the upcoming remake of The Secret of Monkey Island and Telltale's first season of Tales of Monkey Island, I dove back into my collection of LucasArts adventure games. First up: The Curse of Monkey Island on Mega-Monkey mode, to truly test my puzzle-solving prowess (and alliterative aspirations, apparently.) Once I've killed Dread Pirate LeChuck again...again, I'm planning on paying a few of my favorites a visit: Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle and The Dig, most likely. And to cap it all off? I'll be returning to the colorful streets of El Marrow in Grim Fandango. (Fact: Grim Fandango is the best game ever made. Honest! Look it up somewhere.)
And lest I forget the current generation of gaming, I oughta mention I've been plugging away at InFamous (50% completion rate and still excellent) and Red Faction: Guerrilla. Talk about an underdog of a game; Guerrilla's only been out for a couple weeks and its price has already been slashed from $60 to $40.
Lemme give you some advice: No matter what opinion you may have of Saints Row or the older Red Faction games, toss it right out the window. Red Faction is relentlessly satisfying both online and off. Don't be shocked if it ends up at the top of my list for Best Games of 2009.
Purchasing the Xbox 360 version of XMOWUE (that's X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Uncaged Edition -- which makes for an awful acronym) for $37 dollars at Target was the best gaming decision I've made this week. I've patiently waited for a sale on the game since its release, and I'm glad I finally got a chance to scoop it up.
The game is absolutely ridiculous, disgustingly gory and extremely family friendly (not really). Now I've never really read any of Wolverine's comic series -- give me Batman or Spider-Man anyday -- but I can tell Raven Software lovingly nailed the feel of being Wolverine. It's brutal, but also beautiful in a demented sort of way.
I'll also admit within this allotted virtual space that I've become addicted to The Sims 3.
The last time I played any Sims title was way back in 2002 when the first game's vacation expansion came out. After that I quietly put away the voyeuristic notion of controlling virtual people in favor of more conventional gaming experiences. Plus, I was annoyed with the hundreds of expansion packs EA and Maxis kept releasing (honestly that's written with just a tinge of hyperbole). Even so I'm back for the third game, and it's as crack-like as I remember. I have to stop sometime soon though, otherwise it'll become my new World of Warcraft.
Which, by the way, keeps telling me to play it. I need help.
Kicking it old school: Been taking in some SNES games thanks to the power of emulation, specifically NBA Jam: Tournament Edition and International Superstar Soccer, the precursor to the Pro Evo Soccer series we know now. Gotta love some 16-bit goodness every now and then, but I'm still kind of tweaked that I can't get the cheat codes for NBA Jam to work. Ah well.
Two big sports game demos dropped this week, though: NCAA Football 10 and The Bigs 2. I put damn near 120 hours in to NCAA 09, and am still kind of looking forward to 10, but man...I was not very impressed with the demo upon playing it for the first time. In fact, you could say I'm kind of down on the game. It just didn't feel right — I had wanted the game to feel different, to make some improvements, but it still feels odd now that they're here.
The other demo was The Bigs 2, 2k Sports' take on arcade baseball. I only ever played the demo of the first one, but it was well liked by a lot of people, including 1up.com's Sports Anomaly podcast. Well, the demo is incredibly good — fairly easy to pick up, a ton of fun to play, great mechanics, and it doesn't feel unfair like a lot of arcade sports games can. I would definitely love to get my hands on the full game when it comes out soon.