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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Games That Aren't GTA IV

So the entire Internet seems to be afire with one particular acronym that needs no introduction. So allow me to buck the curve here a bit. I actually rented two game recently in the hopes that The Girl would get into them. Fortunately for her (and possibly me), I tried them out a bit first.

First up was Sims 2: Pets for the DS. We found two player Sims 2 almost strangely addictive on the PS2 ... a kind of multiplayer Animal Crossing with a lot more sex, as it were. I figure that if a game removed the coop but replaced it with a puppy that maybe everything would be OK.

What the resulting math actually turns up is a bizarre corner of the Sims world where a person lives in a tiny house, shoves animals in to a big blue container, seems to need either nap or wash a lot, and occasionally tortures the animals with horrific mini-games. There's nothing quite like spraying down some stranger's dog with a hose or trying to force a cat to do a backflip in order to really get your sadism on. In general, the normal Sims micromanagement just gets in the way and the pet mechanics are just troublesome and unrealistic.

Round two was Samurai Warriors: Katana for the Wii. Having read next to nothing about the game, I was kinda hoping for the normal Dynasty Warriors play with Wii graphics and perhaps some change up in the controls. Instead, it's basically a warped rails shooter with a sword ... a rails slasher if you will. Thanks to a weird mashing of gesture schemes the game is mostly just waving the controller around while mashing the A button. The only two player here is that exact same thing, only split screen so that it can happen for two people (separately) at once.

What's weird is that the game highlights one of the odd things about the Warriors franchise. It does a handful of things really well - like allowing you to take one hundreds of enemies, and some things really bad - like character customization, game objectives and voice acting. Katana has more pick and play potential and gold to boost your character - but nowhere to go with it afterwards. Why nobody has taken this concept and made a two player RPG with the traditional trappings still confuses me.

So we might join the HD revolution in the near future - at which point I'll probably buy GTA IV about three nanoseconds later. I'll keep you posted.

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