This week’s videogame releases must face the specter of E3. Which games have the courage to make their debuts?
Inversion (360, PS3)
Namco very adroitly chose this week to release Saber Interactive’s ‘Inversion‘. The game is built using Saber Interactive’s internal engine, last seen in the 2007 release of ‘Timeshift’. Like ‘Timeshift’, ‘Inversion’ is a shooter that emphasizes some interesting gimmicks over hyper-realism or groundbreaking visuals. Unlike ‘Timeshift’, ‘Inversion’ is a third-person cover-based shooter.
The player has the ability to use a gravity gun to shake up the dynamics of cover-based shooting. If you get tired of an AI enemy ducking behind a barrier, just lift him with your gravity gun and expose him for some Murder, Death, Kill. The environment is destructible, as is the cover, which helps gameplay while hurting the visual quality. There are also areas where the playing surface shifts in a kind of gravity inversion, which should make for some fun change-ups during combat. Really, if you find that you care to run through a different shooter’s 8-16 hour campaign every other week, ‘Inversion’ should hit the spot.
The Sims 3: Katy Perry Sweet Treats (PC, Mac)
Long before “Facebook,” “iPhone” or “Wii” were words that inundated the English lexicon, ‘The Sims’ brilliantly made gaining experience, collecting items and growing characters in a 3D world accessible to casual gamers. The modern successor, ‘Sims 3‘, continues to harness an audience of causal gamers, even if the brilliance seems twelve years past. Addiction is an affliction that can impact everyone in an addict’s life, and a ‘Sims 3’ addict needs more stuff to throw onto the pile of items and dress-up, preferably colorful, pop-inspired bin-pile stuff. Suddenly, Katy Perry steps forward, offering her sweet treats as a salve for the ‘Sims 3’ addict in your family or correctional facility. The aspect that is head-shakingly crazy, though, is that ‘The Sims 3: Katy Perry Sweet Treats‘ will probably be one of EA’s biggest moneymakers this year.
Madagascar 3: The Video Game (Wii, 360, PS3, DS, 3DS)
OK, so maybe I don’t love the ‘Madagascar’ movies, nor many of the similar animated animal songfest barnyard icetown zebra hug clone baby features. It’s also possible for that dislike to carry over to a ‘Madagascar’ sequel’s tie-in game. However, if I were visiting a young game-playing relative, chances are that one of the five systems featuring ‘Madagascar 3‘ would be available for some parentally approved gaming.
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown (XBLA, PSN)
The last time I played a ‘Virtua Fighter’ game, it was ‘Virtua Fighter 4’ for the PS2. I have always found ‘Virtua Fighter’ to be slow and very technical in its techniques. Still, Sega’s long-tenured 3D fighter has a dedicated fan base. This latest arcade revision of ‘Virtua Fighter 5’ can be had for $14.99. As a fan of the genre, I feel that the arcade experience offered by fighting games should not be tied to a disc, and the convenience of being able to turn on my PS3 and jump into a game may tempt me to try this latest installment of the franchise.