In the afterglow of E3, the PlayStation Vita lands a classic and a flying amnesiac. Meanwhile, the big-time consoles get a game that can only hope to be as fun as it is provocative.
Lollipop Chainsaw (360, PS3)
The latest game from Suda51 and his Grasshopper Manufacture, ‘Lollipop Chainsaw‘ puts you in control of a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader. With the help of her equally eccentric family and the severed head of her high school sweetheart, our protagonist, Juliet, is set take on the machinations of a zombie horde. The gameplay appears similar to ‘No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise’, allowing for third person hack-and-slash combat, but encouraging creative combos that result in greater zombie medals that can be used to upgrade various character and weapon aspects. As with ‘No More Heroes’, I fully expect a story that’s juvenile, goofy and gory, but hardly formulaic, as well as a presentation that’s rough around the edges, but humorous and occasionally frustrating, plus indulgent gameplay highlighted by excellent boss fights.
Gravity Rush (PSVita)
Known as ‘Gravity Daze’ outside of North America, this game’s title change from “Daze” to “Rush” appears to be a concession to western thrills. “Daze,” however, seems more appropriate for this game’s story, controls and art style. ‘Gravity Rush‘ tells the story of a girl who awakes to find that she has neither memory nor pants. She does, however, have the ability to affect her own gravity, which she uses to fly from building side to building side. A mysterious shimmering cat would seem to be the key to unlocking her past, but another girl’s shimmering raven stands in her way.
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (PSVita)
Vita players can now count one of the all-time great games and possibly greatest prequel story, ‘Metal Gear Solid 3’, amongst their system’s offerings. ‘The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection‘ brings the Vita HD versions of ‘Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance’ and ‘Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence’, as well as MSX emulated versions of ‘Metal Gear’ and ‘Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake’. The two HD titles get touch screen controls, which should help inventory navigation and cut-scene interaction among other things, and cross-save compatibility with the ‘Metal Gear Solid HD Collection‘ for PS3. Naturally, I consider this collection a must-buy for Vita owners.
DiRT Showdown (360, PS3)
Rally driving is a form of racing that requires so much talent, skill and passion that it can easily go from a hobby to an obsession. The Colin McRae series of games dating back to 1998 helped to bring a lot of interest to the World Rally Championship. The latest game, ‘DiRT Showdown‘, however, is focused on giving players an arcade style racer online. While I enjoy arcade style racers, I’m not a fan of simulation style racing games becoming this arcade-y. The PC version came out a few weeks ago, but the console version was delayed until now. I recommend playing the demo before purchasing.
Bable Rising (XBLA, PSN)
‘Bable Rising‘ is a game targeted at Kinect and PS Move owners. At its core, the game is a take on the well-known tower defense genre. The computer characters struggle to erect their towers, while the player uses divine powers to obstruct and punish lesser beings. The game seems a bit perverse to me, but using gestures to play God may wind up being really fun.
iCarly: Groovy Foodie! (DS)
OK, so “iCarly” refers to some Nickelodeon show not produced with me in mind, and “Groovy Foodie” refers to the ‘Diner Dash’ style of gameplay. I think that the “!” in ‘iCarly: Groovy Foodie!‘ refers to the profound sadness of anyone looking for the next great DS game. Is it too snobbish to kind of wish that you could rewrite DS cartridges the way that you could rewrite audio cassettes back when they existed?