Are you old enough to vote? Did you go vote? Go and vote, then come back and read this.
Done? Alright, let's go.
The other publishers seem to have made a nice, not super-competitive spot for Halo 4 in this week's release slate. Sure, other games are coming out, but not a single one has you looking down gunsights. In fact, the big trend this week is a collection of... collections. It's called counterprogramming--if you're not into being a Spartan super-soldier, the other publishers have distinctly different experiences on offer or worth revisiting.
High-minded dramas against the big, blockbuster action movie, as it were. Where Dragonball Z is the high-minded drama, I guess? I really should have thought this analogy out more.
Title: Halo 4
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Chances are if you're awake and reading this, you probably didn't stand in line to pick up Halo 4 last night. Maybe you're just waiting for it to show up in your mailbox today (or you're in the none of the above group, in which case, might I interest you in some other offerings this week?).
Halo 4 has been reviewing well--ranging from ecstatic endorsements of 343 Industries' take on the series to at least respectful golf claps. Our own Clint Mize was somewhere in between in his review (but a little closer to the former). I've only had a chance to mess around with about an hour of the campaign and zero hours of multiplayer at home, but I'm looking forward to the resumption of shotgun-related activities later this week when I jump back into Halo 4 myself.
Title: LittleBigPlanet Karting
Some of you might be too young to remember a dark time in the 16 and 32-bit eras where publishers and developers struck on the next big thing and simply wouldn't let it go: kart racing games. So many ridiculous and un-fun permutations of mascots in tiny cars, slamming into each other on eyeball blisteringly colorful tracks.
Still, I'm willing to give Media Molecule the benefit of the doubt here with LittleBigPlanet Karting for two reasons: first, nothing they've done up to this point grates the way those consciously extreme mascots did and two, look at those faces and resist the whimsy. Go ahead, try and resist!
Title: Midway Arcade Origins
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3
For some gamers, the prospect of revisiting the same, musty old arcade titles might cause their eyes to glaze over, jaws to become slack, and interest to dwindle right down to nada. For those remaining gamers, sure, it's great to dig into those 30 year old games again, as they make their way from one platform to another in an almost endless game of leapfrog.
No real observation beyond that--this collection is out now at a discount price ($29.99) and it's there for you if that's your thing.
Title: Mass Effect Trilogy
Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360
What's the rep of the Mass Effect series these days? Maybe I wasn't over the moon about 3, but I don't think it deserved some of the wild derision it received from the fan community (the ending was, at worst, clunky--but let's not retry the past). On the eve of the series' debut on a Nintendo console for the first time, BioWare and EA have opted to make the whole shebang available in a complete package.
Maybe this will be a chance for some of the more passionate gamers out there to rediscover their love of the series (or at the very least, some kind of overall critical reconsideration of the franchise).
Title: Dragonball Z Budokai HD Collection
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3
These Dragonball Z games are a consistent seller for publisher Namco Bandai, so why not dust some of them off and give them the HD treatment? Sure, the fighting isn't especially deep, but this isn't that type of game--you're in it because you love the property and love revisiting the stories and characters in your own ultimate brawls.
Well, have at it.
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