Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Week in Release: March 3, 2009

I figured this might be interesting to some people, so I'm going to start a weekly feature called "Week In Release." Basically, I'm going to pick through this upcoming week's releases, and siphon out the gems from the shovelware.

This week, we have a few notable titles coming out. First off, the big release of the week, is Halo Wars. Halo Wars is what the original Halo was supposed to be... an RTS. Now, it's an exclusive RTS on the Xbox 360, and that's where we get a bit sketchy. Real Time Strategy games, as most know, aren't too fit for the console crowd. Now, I'm not saying that they're not capable of playing an RTS game, no, what I'm saying is the old mantra that it's rather hard to control an RTS with only a game pad. As pointed out by several of the podcasts I listen to regularly (Listen UP!, Rebel FM), the control scheme for this game doesn't really do it justice. It's a good game, but it's held back by the lack of control over certain units due to a clunky selection mechanism. Personally, I haven't played it, but you can pick up the demo off of the Xbox Marketplace and decide for yourself if the game is for you.

Next up is Empire: Total War. I'm not a big fan of the RTS genre, so I don't know much about this game other than it's probably going to be another excellent title in the Total War franchise. There's some new additions to the franchise like using buildings as cover, and micro management of the use of your army's musket rifles, but all in all, if you're a fan of the genre, you already know about it and have it pre-ordered.

The next iterations of the respective Major League Baseball games are out this coming week as well, Major League Baseball 2k9, and MLB '09: The Show make their way onto the consoles, and that's all I'm going to mention about them, as baseball games have gone from being moderately fun in the '90s, to rather boring and uninteresting in the "nows".

Final couple releases for this week are Tom Clancy's HAWK on the 360 and PS3, which is some air fighting game, and Phantasy Star Portable on the PSP(oh look, they share the same acronym). PSP on the PSP is, from initial idications, basically just Phantasy Star Universe but with lower textures and such. Considering PSU was pretty bad compared to Phantasy Star Online, I'm not even sure if this is a decent buy... though it's probably better than anything not-killzone on the PSP right now.

Oh, and there's Sonic and the Black Knight for the Wii, but no one really cares, as Sonic Team no longer have a soul, and just have been pumping out crap since the Dreamcast era.