Lag #2

Well, as one month draws to a close and another opens it’s my job to unearth myself from the mounds of games that I live under and start ranting fanatically about things that are far too menial and trivial for most to care about. But hey, you’re reading right?

The first observation I’d like to touch on this month concerns Shadow Of The Colossus. It finally touched down over here on the 17th of February to a warm welcome, hitting number one in the charts. This pleases me greatly, not so much because of how much fun I had playing it, nor because of how beautiful it is. While these may contribute to my ethereal joy, it is down to the fact that this is the type of game that usually gets overlooked in this country. Yet, as if by divine intervention, it hits number one, knocking off the chav-tacular Need For Speed Most Wanted which as I have been informed, spent ten weeks sitting on the number one spot. I’ve played Need For Speed, and whilst it doesn’t appeal to me personally, I would expect it to reach number one because this country loves it. However, ten weeks is absolutely ridiculous; the game isn’t that good! The basis of my shock lies within how ‘Japanese’ SOTC feels. The UK has always been very timid of taking up Japanese titles and to see one reach number one is refreshing. I can only hope titles such as Phoenix Wright, Trauma Centre and We Love Katamari can emulate this success, so that the next time whatever omnipotent figurehead is making the decision of which territories to release his or her quirky little game in will look at their success and include us in the future.

Browsing forums leads to some very intelligent opinions, and some very ignorant ones. My anger this month comes from those ever cheerful forum members who feel it is necessary, nay their duty, to slate game shop assistants. I hear comments such as “I just want to buy a game and I’m bombarded with questions about pre-orders and reward cards”. Whilst that may sound like a fair statement, and it is, it’s when it breaks down to “they are teh ghey and I’m never shopping there again cos they wont STFU”. Well here’s something for you, random user SSJ4Wulverine, maybe these poor shop assistants want to “STFU”; they don’t want to say these long and dull speeches every time someone wants to buy a game, but maybe and just maybe, they have to because it’s their job and they will get moaned at if they don’t. Having worked for a games shops (that shall not be named) I can sympathise with these people, who work very long hours, doing the same task day in and day out, being ignored or given attitude by some very ignorant customers, then once again, donning that smile and politeness, just so you can buy Need For Speed without a problem. Have you also considered the possibility that the card they are trying to get you to join might save you money since they see you in there every week buying games? Or that maybe they know they aren’t going to get any games in if you don’t pre-order them? Of course not, that would be silly.

I don’t think I need to rant about this, it’d be too easy.

Dead or Alive 4 finally came through my post box (bought here for a paltry £28 and it will even work on a UK 360. Marvellous isn’t it?). Now being someone who plays Tekken 5 religiously in heated feuds with his housemates, this was a bit of an unknown venture. I’d seen the reviews, dribbled over the screenshots and movies, but at first it did not take well. We simply couldn’t get the hang of it, blocking wasn’t working and attacking seemed to be more about whose moves were faster (this was decided by who hit the shiny buttons first), but then something miraculous happened; I did my first counter. With this revelation I took to the single player to get my ass kicked repeatedly, slowly gaining knowledge of the precise timing required to counter. Eventually it all sunk into place, and I can safely say it’s one of my favourite fighters of recent times. Though Tekken 5 still remains my favourite DOA4 does well enough, I have yet to take it online, but this should be rectified by March 14th. Should you wish to challenge me please feel free to add me to your friends list (Liquid Vegeta if you couldn’t guess).

Before I finish I’d like to mention how much I’m loving Geometry Wars. That game, whilst being frustrating as hell, is so well designed and so damned addictive that it has to be my most recommended Live Arcade game.

Until next time kids …