Games

TWiG 2008-09-22: The Established vs. The Innovative

New releases for the week of 2008-09-22...

de Blob for the Wii

Oh, oh yes, that...that's nice. Look at all of those games coming out this week. And it's only going to get busier. This is truly my favorite time of year.

When the release list starts to get as clogged up as this week's looks, it tends to take something either well-established and highly anticipated or something innovative and head-turning to stand out from the pack. I'm happy to say that this week we have what looks to be a fine example of the latter, as THQ's de Blob is released for the Wii. If Wikipedia is to be believed (and I'm prone to believing it), de Blob had its origins as a class project, got noticed by THQ, and got turned into a full-fledged retail game. The mechanic of it seems perfect fo the Wii, as you roll around your blob of an avatar, dipping yourself into paint cans and rolling all over a city gone monochrome. As you color the city, the music for that city slowly reveals itself, as painting the buildings and the scenery certain colors unlocks instrumental tracks that all fit together as theme music.

They even came up with
appropriately awful box art!

Those tired of the Wii's innovation being reduced to added waggle must be thrilled to be getting something, from a third party no less, that actually manages to not look like something we've seen before. The last time a third party gave us something truly interesting-looking that would take advantage of the control scheme of the Wii was...Elebits, maybe? Needless to say, de Blob will be a welcome sight for Wii owners on the shelves of whatever stores they frequent.

On the more well-established side, it might be considered just a little bit insane just how much I'm looking forward to trying out Mega Man 9. Yes, I'm fully aware that it's probably going to feel just like the other Mega Man games I've got sitting around for the NES. Yes, I'm also fully aware that I may break whatever controller I use to play the thing. Don't care. Modern retro that actually tries to stay retro? No HD graphics, no remade levels, no pandering to modern gamers used to cakewalks? Yes, it's just a completely new Mega Man adventure from the ground up. Sign me up.

Lego Batman on the Xbox 360

Lego Batman comes out for a pile of formats this week -- they had me when they released the footage of Harley Quinn. A couple of non-traditional (read: no plain old cars allowed) racers are on the scene, as Baja: Edge of Control and Pure share shelf space and target audiences, and both look like they stand a decent chance of being rather entertaining. There's also a little, tiny part of me that wants to get my hands on the Hamtaro game (with the properly nonsensical title of Hi! Hamtaro Ham-Ham Challenge). Remember Hamtaro? The hyperkinetic hamster that actually invaded the WB for a while? Oh, the memories, of staring at the television screen in slackjawed wonder/amusement/terror.

Obviously, there's plenty coming out this week. What are you picking up? Scope out the full release list and a trailer for de Blob after...the jump.

PS2:

Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009 (23 September)

Dragon Ball Z: Trilogy (23 September)

Lego Batman (23 September)

Pipe Mania (23 September)

SingStar Pop Vol. 2 (23 September)

Warriors Orochi 2 (23 September)

PS3:

Baja: Edge of Control (22 September)

Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway (23 September)

BUZZ! Quiz TV (23 September)

Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009 (23 September)

Lego Batman (23 September)

Pure (23 September)

Wipeout HD (25 September)

PSP:

B-Boy (23 September)

Buzz! Master Quiz (23 September)

Lego Batman (23 September)

Pipe Mania (23 September)

Wii:

de Blob (22 September)

Mega Man 9 (22 September)

SimCity Creator (22 September)

Wario Land: Shake It! (22 September)

Battle Rage: The Robot Wars (23 September)

Brothers in Arms: Double Time (23 September)

Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009 (23 September)

Lego Batman (23 September)

Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked (23 September)

Margot's Word Brain (23 September)

Samba de Amigo (23 September)

Ultimate Shooting Collection (23 September)

Zoo Hospital (23 September)

DS:

Di-Gata Defenders (22 September)

DropCast (22 September)

Kirby Super Star Ultra (22 September)

SimCity Creator (22 September)

Barbie: Eye For Style (23 September)

Dinosaur King (23 September)

Disgaea DS (23 September)

Hi! HamTaro Ham-Ham Challenge (23 September)

Lego Batman (23 September)

Margot's Word Brain (23 September)

My Japanese Coach (23 September)

My SAT Coach (23 September)

Pipe Mania (23 September)

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (23 September)

Shaun the Sheep (23 September)

Time Hollow (23 September)

Xbox 360:

Baja: Edge of Control (22 September)

Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway (23 September)

Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009 (23 September)

Lego Batman (23 September)

Pure (23 September)

Warriors Orochi 2 (23 September)

Duke Nukem 3D (24 September)

Mega Man 9 (24 September)

PC:

Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization (22 September)

Barbie: Eye For Style (23 September)

Dark Horizon (23 September)

Everlight (23 September)

Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition (23 September)

Ford Racing: Off Road (23 September)

Hell's Kitchen (23 September)

Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge (23 September)

King's Bounty: The Legend (23 September)

Lego Batman (23 September)

Line Rider 2: Unbound (23 September)

The Price is Right (23 September)

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less
9
TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less
9

If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Featuring a shining collaboration with Terry Riley, the Del Sol String Quartet have produced an excellent new music recording during their 25 years as an ensemble.

Dark Queen Mantra, both the composition and the album itself, represent a collaboration between the Del Sol String Quartet and legendary composer Terry Riley. Now in their 25th year, Del Sol have consistently championed modern music through their extensive recordings (11 to date), community and educational outreach efforts, and performances stretching from concert halls and the Library of Congress to San Francisco dance clubs. Riley, a defining figure of minimalist music, has continually infused his compositions with elements of jazz and traditional Indian elements such as raga melodies and rhythms. Featuring two contributions from Riley, as well as one from former Riley collaborator Stefano Scodanibbio, Dark Queen Mantra continues Del Sol's objective of exploring new avenues for the string quartet format.

Keep reading... Show less
9
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image