Tuesday is one of the most anticipated gaming days of the year, with two major titles hitting stores at the same time. We take a look at those two big games and pick out a third that you may have missed, in this week's edition of Game Plan.
3. "Half-Minute Hero" (PSP)
While not as high-profile as the remaining picks, "Half-Minute Hero" is still a title worth checking out. The PSP-exclusive game features a throwback graphic style, hearkening back to the late '80s and early '90s, when true 3-D graphics were merely a pipe dream. The game's 2-D art style is an homage to games from that era, reminding fans of classic titles like the original "Final Fantasy" and "Dragon Quest."
The game play is unique as well, with each level taking just 30 seconds to complete. It makes for a frantic, mad dash of an experience, but comical dialog and characters definitely make things easy to swallow. Progressing through the game will also unlock new modes that are inspired by other classic genres, such as shooters and strategy games.
Although it doesn't offer a ton of depth, few could argue with the excellent pick-up-and-play nature of "Half-Minute Hero."
2. "Brutal Legend" (Xbox 360/ PS3)
"Brutal Legend" has been in development for four years, and since its announcement it has been one of the gaming world's most anticipated titles. Created by legendary game designer Tim Schafer (whose previous works include "The Secret of Monkey Island" and "Grim Fandango"), "Brutal Legend" stars Eddie Riggs (portrayed by Jack Black) as the world's greatest roadie. Transported into an alternate dimension, Riggs must use his extensive music know-how to save the world.
"Brutal Legend" features some of the best writing we've seen in a video game, and the alternate dimension in which it's set is wonderfully crafted. Unfortunately some of the game play is not quite up to the high presentation levels and has the tendency to get redundant and tedious at times. It's really more of a rental, as you can complete the main story in about six hours but, despite those flaws, it's still a game that's worth experiencing for yourself.
1. "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" (PS3)
The original "Uncharted" set high standards on the PS3, offering a Hollywood blockbuster-style adventure with hints of "Indiana Jones" and "National Treasure." Incredibly, "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" has managed to one-up its excellent predecessor and is an easy pick for the best PS3-exclusive title yet released.
The story once again follows treasure hunter Nathan Drake, this time on the trail of Marco Polo's lost fleet. His quest features plenty of globe-trotting, and each location manages to best the previous one with consistently impressive scenery and game-play mechanics. The main story is longer than the first game, and should take the average player around 10 to 12 hours to complete.
Once you complete the story, "Uncharted 2" offers an equally excellent multiplayer component, letting you team up with other players online in both co-op and adversarial modes.
If you own a PS3, "Uncharted 2" is an experience you shouldn't miss. If you don't own a PS3, this game is the best reason yet to pick one up.
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