A couple of my latest reviews just went live: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and the two Alan Wake DLCs, The Signal and The Writer.

While you're doing all this clicking, check out the most recent GameCritics Podcast. Starring myself, Richard Naik, Dan Weissenberger and hosted by Tim Spaeth, the focus of the entire show is a deep-dive discussion of Deadly Premonition. If you've been wondering WTF is going on with that game, we give you the full scoop.

(By the way, if you haven't played the game and intend to, you should know that the first 2/3rds of the show is totally spoiler-free. The end of the show is MEGA-SPOILERIFFIC, but we give you plenty of warning before we start in on the juicy stuff.)

Oh, one more thing on the subject of Deadly Premonition, the Planet Redwood blog has a great video of GameCritics alum Matt Weise giving a talk at MIT about the game's design. Check it out and read Redwood's summary of the video.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Screenshot

I had a few minutes to kill the other day, so I fired up the demos for Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and The Force Unleashed 2. Can't say that either did very much for me.

Looking at Sonic, the little bit in the demo seemed exactly like the old-school version back on the Genesis, and to be perfectly honest, I was never much of a Sonic fan. Add in the fact that the game's episodic at $15 a pop, and the decision to delete the demo and move on was pretty easy.

Moving on to The Force Unleashed 2, I was also quick to scrub it off my drive. It doesn't seem bad, just very gamey in a way that wasn't interesting. Kill some stormtroopers, move on to the next section, kill a few more, so on and so on. It felt totally artificial and contrived, and seeing the return of lightsaber-resistant stormtroopers was a major eyeroll moment. I liked the first game well enough despite its flaws, but after this demo, The Force Unleashed 2 has been bumped onto my "buy it when it's $20" list.

Got my hands on a pre-release code for Super Meat Boy (XBLA) and I'm loving it.

It's hard as hell (ridiculously so in some parts) but the quality of the game is tops and the devs have a great sense of humor and style. A nice surprise was that some of the quasi-hidden nods to previous generations are just too awesome for words—hopping through a warp zone and seeing the game translated as if it were being played on the original GameBoy was a real gee-whiz moment. I won't say much more for now (working on a review as we speak) but you should definitely plan on picking this one up if you're a fan of 2D platformers and you've got nerves of steel.

(By the way, I remarked about this on Twitter earlier, but does every indie developer have lightning-fast superhuman reflexes? Between Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, N+, and even Braid in parts, it's pretty clear to see that small-house devs like their games brutally difficult!)

Zombrex Dead Rising Sun Image

In case you don't know (I sure didn't) there's an official eight-part live-action Dead Rising 2 video available for download on the XBL marketplace.

My friend @Ind1fference (host of the GameEnthus.Com podcast) hipped me to it, and it's a hoot. The budget must've been about $14 and the dubbing is atrocious, but the wife and I have been enjoying it nonetheless. We got through half of it last night, and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Download the first couple of episodes and see what you think.

Brad Gallaway
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