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Deadly Premonition, two trailers and free swag

Brad Gallaway's picture

Deadly Premonition Screenshot

Started the infamous Deadly Premonition a few days ago. I'm still really early, probably somewhere in the five-hour ballpark, but I'm definitely far enough along to say that I think most of the critics who passed judgment on it really didn't get it.

I'm not going to go into too much detail at this point since there is still a lot to see and I definitely want to compare notes with people on a few things, but I will recommend that anyone with even a passing curiosity in the title read my fellow critic Dan Weissenberger's epic take on it. Read his opinion on the game and know that I basically say "ditto" to just about all of his conclusions.

I will absolutely be talking more about this game in the future, but for right now I do know that I am enjoying it a great deal, I find it quite utterly fascinating in several regards, and I would highly recommend anyone with an interest in alternative titles or unconventional game design pick up a copy immediately. At $20 brand-new, I daresay it will be a much better value for people interested in exploring the fringe than just about anything else on shelves this year.

While I don't usually use the blog as a straight-up PR tool, I'm going to bend that rule tonight for two reasons: the first is that I'm frickin' tired and it's easier to cut and paste a link than it is to come up with effervescent material off the cuff. The second is that I'm actually genuinely excited for both of the following titles, and I've got a feeling that each one is going to need every bit of coverage they can possibly get.

Trailer A: Battle vs. Chess. I talked about this title in my PAX 2010 coverage, but in case you missed it, this game is basically classic chess at its core. However, there are a number of tweaks that make it much more interesting than the standard video chess game.

For example, there is a modes that lets players have pieces fight in real time to defend their squares. There's also a mode that sets the pieces up on the board randomly, and the campaign mode is made up of chess puzzles taken from real-life matches between expert players. I have a great affection for chess even though I completely suck at it, so the unique video game spin on this timeless formula is looking pretty damn irresistible to me right now.

Trailer B: Section 8: Prejudice. If you were one of the many players who missed out on Section 8 the first time, then you really missed out. Although it wasn't perfect, this first-person sci-fi shooter had some great ideas and was a hell of a lot of fun to play. The ability to employ a jet pack during combat opened up a lot of possibilities, and the multiplayer mode was fairly unique. Besides the standard "kill everybody who's not on your team" goal, there were several in-match mini-goals which players could pursue that didn't really have anything to do with directly opposing the other team. Things like capturing AI- generated VIPs, or taking care of timebombs which would appear randomly.

The feeling of being on a busy, active battlefield with tons of things going on at once was a great one, so I'm very curious to see what the developers will have to bring to the table in this recently-announced sequel. (Of course, that's beside the fact that I don't think anyone, myself included, actually expected a sequel.) Very, very interested in this one.

After going through the stuff I brought back from PAX, I realized I had enough to give away. Here's what's on hand:

Pack #1 – A D&D comic from IDW, a Dragon Age inflatable spear, and a 5-button set for Valkyria Chronicles 2.

Pack #2 - A Super Meat Boy comic, a Dragon Age inflatable spear, and a 5-button set for Valkyria Chronicles 2.

Pack #3 – two sets of Valkyria Chronicles 2 buttons. (Both identical.)

If you're interested in any of these packs, leave a comment, pick Pack 1, 2, or 3 and tell me what you think the best game of the year is that nobody's been paying attention to. In other words, what's the best underrated game you've played so far in 2010? I will put the name of everybody who enters into a hat, pick a random winner and send this stuff out. If nobody enters, I guess I'll just throw it out…

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Platform(s): Xbox 360   Wii   PS3  

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My 2010 underrated game

While I wouldn't call it a 2010 Game-of-the-Year contender, probably my most surprisingly awesome game of this year would be the criminally underappreciated racing game Split/Second. Normally, I can't stand racing games. I dabble in Mario Kart every few years (and am usually disappointed), but overall the genre bores me.

Split/Second, though, is less of a racing game than it is a 3rd person shooter on wheels. The game's fast, the action is exciting, the visuals are quite lovely, and the tracks are very well-designed. Probably the best part about the game is that while it is similar to Mario Kart in how the game is more about the carnage than the racing, the game is still determined by skill. It takes an exceptional degree of timing and skill to know when to use a Power Play to inflict maximum damage, and a skilled player can still watch for the signs and dodge the attack (unlike Mario Kart, where there is no dodging most of the power-ups, especially the Blue Shell). There's also a high degree of strategy to the Power Plays: do you just spam the level 1 Power Plays as you get them to slow the other racers down, or do you save up for a big Level 2 Power Play that wrecks all the racers and changes the layout of the track? Or perhaps do you save your Power Plays to open small shortcuts and give yourself a little breathing room? The game's soundtrack is also pretty awesome (orchestral and techno), especially the Split/Second theme. Pretty much the only downsides to the game are a lack of tracks (there are way too few tracks for how long the SP campaign goes on) and rubberband AI.

Like I said, I usually hate racing games, but Split/Second surprised me with its inventiveness and the way it just embraces the idea of carefully-controlled chaos in a much more intelligent way than similar games like Mario Kart. Unfortunately, Disney decided to ship the game right alongside two OTHER arcade-style racing games in ModNation Racers and Blur, and the game failed to sell well. !_!

If I win, I'd like Pack #1 please.

My underrated game of the

My underrated game of the year is a little gem on Wiiware called "And Yet it Moves." You can be forgiven for missing this, given that Wiiware is so loaded with junk that the great stuff is buried and difficult to miss, but you should give it a shot if you have ten bucks to spare. It's a simple indie platformer in which you can freeze the game at any time to rotate the entire world. This gimmick that the game is built around leads to a lot of creative little puzzles (like trying to get a monkey to hit himself in the face with his own coconut he's trying to whack you with)and occasionally warps your brain a bit. My initial concern was that the concept would result in a game that's confusing and difficult to navigate, but the level design hits that sweet spot right between fun and challenge, helped by regular checkpoints that point the way to the next one.

I actually own And Yet it Moves on the PC as well, since I purchased an indie game bundle a while back and this was included. Unfortunately I couldn't really get into it, since it using the keyboard was frustrating, and you were limited to 90 degree turns, but I could tell that the game was something that had potential. In the Wii version, you get as much control of the environment as you want, thanks to the motion controls of the Wii remote (other options include a "click and drag" rotation and the shoulder buttons of the Classic Controller - all work great).

What I haven't mentioned yet is the fantastic "crumpled paper" style of the game. I can't really describe it, so just check out the screenshots and videos over at the official website -> http://www.andyetitmoves.net/index.php?content=screens

If you're into creative little indie games like this, do yourself a favor and check it out - I think you'll dig it.

If I win the contest, I'll go with pack #2. I could think of many obnoxious uses for an inflatable spear!

Under rated GOY so far

Yakuza 3 is still one of my favorites of the year. It is a true mature game not just in the violence and sexual themes, but also dealing with family and responsibilities.

Y3 had a ton of content, which made it well worth the $60 price tag at launch.

I would like pack 2 or 3.

Thanks!

Underrated

I know I'll get dumped on for saying Metro 2033, so heeeeyy, Brad... there's this little game called Patchwork Heroes. ;)

Okay, yes, both games received favorable reviews, but Patchwork in particular needs about all the plugs it can get. In a year when PSP die-hards most likely (I haven't seen sales figures, so I can only speculate) flocked to Japanese banner games like MGS: Peace Walker, Persona 3 Portable, and Valkyrie Chronicles 2, some may overlook an absolute gem of a game in Patchwork.

And a shout-out to Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, which was by no means a great game but did some very interesting (and arguably brave) things with the series.

looking at shelf- Ive sold

looking at shelf-

Ive sold every game I bought that's been released this year with the exception of Nier...

there you go

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