SOOO, I couldn’t decide what to deign “game of the week” this week, so we’re going with co-winners.
First up is the obvious one, the one and only seriously high profile release of the week. Out in advance of the uber-anticipated updates to the Street Fighter franchise is the first of a few steps toward reinvigorating the recently dormant (aside from TV tie-ins like Dragon Ball Z and Naruto) fighting game genre: Soulcalibur IV. The reason I’ve been a bit hesitant toward this is that much of the most noticeable pre-release publicity for the game has centered upon the gravity defying, spitting-in-the-face-of-physics size of the female fighters’ breasts (particularly those of Ivy, whose battle gear cannot possibly be comfortable). I’m not sure this is a good thing, unless you’re a Rumble Roses fan.
Still, it’s tough to deny the draw of a sequel to a game that can still boast one of the very few 10.0 scores on IGN. The original Soulcalibur honestly ranks right up there with Street Fighter II in terms of playability and fun, and even if the sequels haven’t been of the same, um, caliber (ha), they’ve at least been worth a play or three. Perhaps the publicity boost behind number 4 means that there will be a quality boost to match.
Also, Darth Vader and Yoda are involved. So there’s that.
The other game, and the one I’m more likely to buy, quite frankly, is Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. I wish I could count the number of hours I’ve lost to the original Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, despite the fact that I’ve never spent more than five minutes on the game at a time, and also despite the fact that all of my practice has not changed the fact that I really kind of suck at the game. There’s an utterly addictive quality to the whole thing, perhaps due to the fact that “just one more game” is only a couple of minutes worth of a commitment, perhaps due to the simplicity of the whole thing offering the sort of play that always feels like you could (and probably should) have avoided the one enemy that killed you. Geometry Wars 2 is adding a bunch of cooperative modes and new boards to play, and early screenshots have indicated that the level of chaos is at least that of the first, so…that’s 10 more dollars down the intertube.
Fans looking for the next RBI Baseball might want to give MLB Power Pros a look for the Wii…so far, it’s been well-received, and the style and simplicity of it might invite back some old school baseballers that can’t deal with the simulation-like nature of most modern baseball games. I’m also positive that someone out there is doing backflips over the release of Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI for the PC, but I still haven’t managed to make myself excited about the well-established, long-running strategy series. Maybe when XII comes out, I’ll be swayed.
The rest of the releases (and two trailers!) are after the jump.