Weekly Roundup June 6 – June 19

The first week was pretty much E3 2011 stuff, you can check out the related articles here: Pre-E3, Microsoft Press ConferenceMicrosoft, Sony, EA, Ubisoft Press Conference and Event RoundupsNintendo Press Conference, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. Was kind of busy actually playing games (instead of reading about them) after that so this week’s roundup will be a “2x” thing to catch up on the stuff I missed.

App Store Bargains

My last app download was about 2-3 weeks ago, but anyway here’s the latest deals:

Army of Darkness Defense iPhone/iPod and iPad versions, 100 Rogues (universal), Burn the Rope (iPhone/iPod) for free. Firemint games are on sale for Father’s Day, with Real Racing at $0.99 (down from $4.99) for the iPhone/iPod version, and $1.99 (down from $6.99) for the HD/iPad version. Real Racing 2 at $4.99 (down from $6.99) for the iPhone/iPod version, and $6.99 (down from $9.99) for the HD/iPad version. Tons of EA games and Gameloft games also on sale.

News Roundup

Wii U tablet limited to one per console

I posted this (well, the link anyway) in the E3 Day 3 roundup, but I didn’t read it until now. Originally I thought it meant that only one controller would come with the console when you buy it, but then that’s a standard for consoles now anyway. Instead, the current plan is that only one controller can be connected to a console, i.e. other players would have to use the original Wii controller. Or, as Miyamoto says, players might also be able to use their 3DS instead. Definitely not a good move since people who want to play multiplayer would need to own a Wii (or 3DS), or have friends who do. Or they would have to buy Wii controllers — on one hand it would certainly be cheaper than buying an “iPad”, but that’s not exactly solving the problem either. When I heard about the Wii U during Nintendo’s press conference, I was thinking that multiplayer sessions would now involve a ton of people (well, maybe 8-16), all gathered at a friend’s place. Each would just bring his/her controller (easy to fit in a bag with your books/whatever), and they could all be anywhere in the room, playing on his/her controller — without the need for 4-player split-screen (not everyone has large TVs) or a bunch of consoles and messy cables connected via system link (because carrying consoles around is heavy). Of course, this also assumes that you have friends who own a Wii U, which might turn out to be not as common as having friends who own a Wii (or 3DS), but what’s the point in restricting multiplayer to one controller only? On a related note, there’s also an interview with Miyamoto here.

Playing with 4 Wii Remotes

No wonder they only showed multiple Wii controllers.

Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 2011 Opening Cinematic Trailer (PC)

I’m not a MMORPG person so I didn’t really follow Star Wars: The Old Republic during E3, (but I did catch some of the previous coverage) and I missed this during the last few weeks. Nevertheless, it’s Star Wars CG action, so you have to check it out. There’s also a montage trailer here (also CG and awesome).

Valve prepping free-to-play project – Report

Not really a fan of DotA, but if it does turn out to be DotA 2 after all, I suppose I’ll still check it out anyway. As long as it’s not a social game where you manage a farm, restaurant, city etc. It’s certainly a viable market, but not for me.

Dota 2

Nothing says promotional material like CG artwork.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Q&A: Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama (360, PS3)

As mentioned previously, Final Fantasy XIII-2 will offer a more open approach as compared to its predecessor, with more interactions in towns, conversation options, exploration and multiple endings (or at least, I think they mentioned multiple endings previously). It seems like Serah (and Noel) will be the main character(s) this time round though, and Lightning will be the secondary character. Originally I thought it would be either 50/50 or that Lightning would have a bigger role. Toriyama says that “Lightning is still important in the story”, I assume that pretty much translates to “she will appear more in cutscenes or will be mentioned by other characters than in the actual gameplay”. Masashi Hamauzu will return as the main composer, although there might be others contributing to the game’s soundtrack as well. Length-wise it’ll be about the same as Final Fantasy XIII and there will be something “even better than” New Game +. The game will be out in Japan later in December and Europe (and presumably North America) “early next year”. I suppose that applies to the 360 version as well, which was released one year later in Japan and Asia in the case of Final Fantasy XIII.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Serah will be (one of) the main protagonist(s) this time.

Reviews Roundup

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) – 8.5

(Video review) Looks like a great pickup for fans of Zelda and newcomers (me included) alike. The problem is getting a 3DS first…

Duke Nukem Forever (360, PC, PS3) – 3.0

(Video review) And so, the game which took forever ends up being a flop. It’s not just GameSpot either — the average score on Metacritic for the PC version as 58, with the other platforms scoring about the same. To be honest, the pre-release trailers did look kind of bad to me, but I was thinking Gearbox might be able to pull it off anyway. Guess not. Although I suppose they only took part in the development for pretty much 1 out of 15 years, so I doubt they (or anyone for that matter) could’ve turned junk into gold. In any case, here’s hoping Aliens: Colonial Marines won’t be another disappointment.

Duke Nukem Forever

Sounds like another case of false advertisement.

Child of Eden (360, PS3) – 8.5

(Video review) I’ve never been much of a rhythm/music games person either since I don’t have much rhythmic sense, but I’ve played the Xbox Live Arcade ports of Rez and Lumines, and enjoyed both (although I haven’t really played a lot of the former). Child of Eden certainly looks very much like Rez from the gameplay perspective. Graphics look colorful and superb in general, although I’m not sure how it compares to Rez since I haven’t played much of it.

Child of Eden

Psychedelic visuals abound.

Alice: Madness Returns (360, PC, PS3) – 7.0 (Video Review)

No comment since I didn’t play the previous games, read the books etc.

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