Backlog: Mr. Fry Will See You Now edition

Oh! Hello there.

So sorry I didn't notice you; I was busy tousling my hair and practicing my charming, inextricably British character quirks.

Err-ahem. Yes. LittleBigPlanet 2 was released this week, headlined once again by a revelatory performance from your humble narrator. While those of you with a PlayStation 3 have undoubtedly snatched up your very own copies without hesitation, the rest of the world was left with no comparable alternative; alas, some of you had to resort to games from two years ago! Imagine that.

Now if you'll kindly excuse me; I'm late for my weekly poker night with Hugh Laurie, Tony Blair and The Stig. In outer space.

Doug:

After spending the week mourning the end of football season, I've come out of that stage of grief. After taking some time to ponder Nintendo's online strategy, I've been catching up on a couple of 2009's finest games. Yes, really thrilling, but what I need right now is some comfort.

Through twists of fate, I've started getting back into PES 2010. I think I've spent well over 170 hours in the game by now, and I still have reason to continue on. That's the catch with me and sports games: there's always another trophy to win, there's always another deal to strike, there's always another way to improve the team. I jive with that narrative flow, and get carried away.

I've also continued playing Forza Motorsport 3. Since Turn 10 gifted a car that could be sold back in the game for a cool 1.2 million credits, I've been able to entertain myself with what I enjoy the most in the game: finding a car, tuning it up, and seeing if it works. I currently have a turbocharged Volvo 242 that can touch 160 mph easily; shame it can't turn to save its life.

Lastly, and most importantly, I've finally dug into Assassin's Creed II. Back in the earlier days of the Sasquatch, I picked up the first AC and gave it a shot; unfortunately, the game's good ideas were marred by overly simple execution. Stalking and assassinating somebody was fun, but there was little variation on the theme. However, AC2 has built on those mistakes brilliantly. Not only is there enough on the side to keep things entertaining, but the main storyline bounces along at a much quicker pace; no longer must one stalk their pray with so much intent. The information hunting still happens, but it often comes to you in cinematics instead of by repeating missions. Frankly, the game is much better for it.

Aaron:

Maybe it's because I'm playing the game with my girlfriend, or perhaps it's that Media Molecule frosted the platforming genius with a delicious layer of story-rich sugar batter, but I'm enjoying LittleBigPlanet 2 more than I anticipated. It's relaxing in the hustle and bustle world of today to slow down and play a game that makes you happy. And who doesn't enjoy collecting a lot of random shit?

I also happened to receive Killzone 2 in the mail yesterday, which was bundled with a DualShock 3 controller for a very low price. I haven't even touched the game yet. Something inside me is expecting to be disappointed.

And in other PS3 news, I finally finished Uncharted: Drake's Fortune last Sunday. It took me a few years to get my own console and borrow it from a friend, but now I'm "in the know" in regards to the Uncharted franchise.

With all this PlayStation usage, I'm curious if my Xbox is feeling neglected. Oh well.

Nick:

LittleBigPlanet 2 and I have an understanding: I'll look the other way when its platforming mechanics are wonky and unreliable as long as it allows me to create hulking, monstrous automatons that stalk the cardboard landscape like papier-mâché Lovecraftian horrors.

Mushy, unresponsive jumping aside, LBP2 is a pretty incredible step forward for the series. The built-in levels are far more polished and satisfying than the first game's batch, and the creation tools -- at least, those that I've seen -- are astounding.

What else is there to say? Not much, unfortunately. I've been surprisingly busy with my job search this week, and in a very good way, and I haven't spent much time playing videogames as a result. I'm still building things in Minecraft, of course -- I'll be playing it until the day I die at this rate -- but I managed to dip my toes back  into the irradiated waters of New Vegas for a couple of hours. Yeah, it's an adequate RPG with some hysterical writing -- I'll never forget my first meeting with Fisto, if you know what I mean -- but considering it's still riddled with game-crashing bugs, I'm finding it difficult to remain interested. So the few remaining hours I've had for entertainment this week have been spent with my other good friend, Fiddy.

Let me be clear: 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is dumb as hell. Really -- it's unbelievably stupid. Running around and massacring color-coded enemies in a nameless Middle-Eastern country as either Mr. Cent or one of his G-Unit cohorts while listening to his music on repeat is probably killing my brain cells off rapidly, but somehow -- despite everything going against it -- Blood on the Sand is a lot of fun. It's a competent shooter with some clever arcade influences, and I'm having a great time chasing down my jeweled skull. It is to Gears of War what Saints Row was to Grand Theft Auto: None of the gravitas or self-seriousness, but a whole lot of fun.