May 4, 2008 8:00 PM | Simon Carless
Once upon a time, we did a little thing on Sundays here, whereby I talked about some of the games I've been playing this week and what I thought of them - and then asked you folks to do the same.
I guess that fell by the wayside, a little, but I think it's good to get GSW readers inter-relating, commentwise, so a brief restart is needed, perhaps?
In which case, here's what I've been chewing on this week:
- Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North, Xbox 360)
Oh, come on - who hasn't? Though so far, I've mainly been tooling around the initial game area, 'borrowing' cars and listening to The Journey on the radio, complete with Jean-Michel Jarre (pictured!) and Global Communication goodness. It's almost a self-indulgent, Nathan Barley-esque station choice (for me and the creators, I fear) - and as MTV Multiplayer noted, it came together when the game's music supervisor "...tried to out-obscure his boss." But as referenced: "the almost beatless sounds of Philip Glass [give] the city a magical feel" at night. And when I don't really want to kill people (most of the time), I can park by the water and listen serenely, instead.
- Echochrome (Sony Japan Studio, PlayStation Network)
This Escher-adoring puzzler is actually extremely clever, and I really enjoy the stark graphical stylings and the general concept. The camera rotation is a little fiddly at times, however - but that's made up for by the deep level editor that's already providing downloadable content, thanks to Asian territories getting the game ahead of the West. Overall, it's a deeply clever piece of art - and certainly a steal at $9.99, another example of Sony's odd underpricing for PSN games.
- The Simpsons Game (EA Redwood Shores, Xbox 360)
Looks like there's been a semi-official price drop to $29.99 for this title, so I picked it up at Target. Why? Well, I loved what I'd seen of the cut-scenes, and wanted to see if I could endure the spotty gameplay to check out the awesome humor. The verdict so far - yeah I can, just about, but boy, the camera/jump puzzle melange is obnoxious in some places. But it may, in fact, be the funniest game ever about games - a lot of the humor is insider-tuned - and I do think it got a little bit buried in the Xmas rush last year. Don't expect too much, and you'll be surprised!
- Flash Focus: Vision Training in Minutes a Day (Namco Bandai/Nintendo, DS)
One of the Touch Generations titles in the West that is (relatively) less famous. Having given it a quick rental from GameFly, I'm slightly underwhelmed. One issue is that I already seem to have a rating in 'the 20s' from my spot test, meaning I'm not that motivated to play more and improve. But it's beautifully split up for commute-style mini-game sessions every day, as a lot of Touch Generations titles - almost as if they are getting the users into the habit of gaming. Clever, Nintendo, clever.
Other than that, a quick trip through Carcassone on XBLA reminded me of what a great game it was, and I'm still buying content on Rock Band like there's no tomorrow (do I like Boston? I do now!) So, fair GameSetWatch readers, what games have been filling your beauteous spare time, and why?