TWiG 2009-02-09: Riding the Wind on a Rose Petal

There aren’t a ton of releases showing up this week, but the ratio of quality games to total games looks to be surprisingly high given that we’re smack dab in the middle of February and that the onset of Valentine’s Day tends to lead to other pursuits, like movies and books.

Of particular note this week is Flower, the PlayStation 3’s downloadable release that’s filled with more questions and answers. Thanks to Wikipedia, GameTrailers, and previews from pretty much every major gaming site out there, I’ve seen plenty of footage of the game and have read just about every developer quote and preview description that has been released on it. And still, I have no concrete idea of exactly what I’ll be doing.

Of course, that’s probably part of the appeal. Developer thatgamecompany, who previously brought the highly acclaimed non-game fl0w to the PS3, is making a name for itself in creating pieces of software that stretch the very definition of what a “game” can be. On one hand, we could assume that Flower will be another such non-game, which simply allows the player to float along the breeze on a whim. On the other hand, there are PS3 trophies involved, so there will certainly be at least one set of concrete goals that must be fulfilled to “complete” it. It’s bound to be interesting, seeing the way that thatgamecompany navigates their vision among the necessity of trophy inclusion.

If you’re not really the zen gaming type, there’s another console-downloadable goodie on the way this week as well, this one on the Xbox side of things. 3 on 3 NHL Arcade is the game, and you know, EA’s purporting that this will bring NHL action to the masses, advertising wide-open, arcade-oriented gameplay and goofy-looking skaters. I’ve actually had my reservations about this one, given that I thought NHL 09 was pretty masses-friendly (it was the one sports game I gave the time of day to last year) and screenshots make the super deformed players look awful — sort of like NBA Jam with a more realistic big-head cheat on, which doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. Of course, a tweet from Destructoid‘s Samit Sarkar showed up last week in which he offered “Initial impressions: 11,236/10”. Suddenly, I’m optimistic.

Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad for the Xbox 360

If you’re just dying to buy something that comes in a box, chances are that there’s something out there this week for you, too. FPSers will look toward F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, which will probably be fine if you were into the first F.E.A.R., but disappointing if you’re hoping for much more than a rote shooter. Those who cut their teeth on the Genesis will find the memories flooding back in a big way with Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, which I will personally be buying for the chance to own the first four Phantasy Star games on one disc. Portable gamers have LocoRoco 2 to look forward to on the PSP, and, um, there are games showing up on the Wii(!) and the Xbox 360 this week called Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers and Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad respectively, which are sure to appeal to a bunch of people I don’t know.

I mean, I can’t imagine that’s the best way for Nintendo to go about convincing people that the Wii is not a “kiddie” console.

With plenty to choose from this week, there must be something up your alley. Tell us about it, and let us know what you think when you play it! The full release list is after the jump, with a little bit of Flower gameplay to whet your appetite.


Moomin: The Great Autumn Party (09 February)

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction (09 February)

Jake Power: Fireman (10 February)

My DoItAll (10 February)

Retro Game Challenge (10 February)


Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst (09 February)

X-Blades (09 February)

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (10 February)

Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition (10 February)

Perimeter II: New Earth (10 February)

Warfare (10 February)

Celetania (13 February)


M&Ms Adventure (10 February)


F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (10 February)

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (10 February)

Flower (12 February, PlayStation Network)


LocoRoco 2 (10 February)


Deadly Creatures (09 February)

LIT (09 February)

NASCAR Kart Racing (10 February)

Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers (10 February)

The House of the Dead: Overkill (10 February)

Xbox 360:

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (10 February)

Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (10 February)

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (10 February)

3 on 3 NHL Arcade (11 February, Xbox Live Arcade)

Mass Effect (2-Disc Edition) (11 February)