Monday, October 1, 2007
Video game onslaught!!
VIDEO GAME ONSLAUGHT!!!
The next few months is going to be a crazy time for video game enthusiasts. There's just so many great games coming out! Student grades will fall, sleep will be lost, spouses will threaten divorce, and the nerd population of the world will increase. To help prepare you for the coming months, I present some of the games I'm looking forward to the most.
Ace Combat 6 (Xbox 360)
Release date: October 23rd
Ace Combat 6 is an action air combat game where realism takes a back seat to having simple, action packed, cinematic-style fun. If you ever thought the movie Top Gun was cool, this is the game for you. The basic game goes like this: hop into a sleek jet fighter of your choice, target and destroy enemies with missiles, dodge missiles shot at you, rinse and repeat. As you play, you'll unlock more powerful weapons and jet fighters to play with. It may seem hard to fly a jet fighter (and in real life I'm sure it is!), but in the Ace Combat games you merely need to point your jet's nose towards a target, let your missile lock onto a target, then shoot the missile. The main challenge of the game is knowing when to shoot your missile so that its chances of hitting home are highest.
Why am I looking forward to this game? The graphics are incredible! And the number of planes flying around in the sky at one time has been significantly increased since Ace Combat 5. Plus, in some of the missions, you'll get to defend a fictionalized version of San Francisco, and its Golden Gate Bridge. Cool.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360, PC, Playstation 3)
Release date: November 5th
Call of Duty 4 is a first-person shooter game, and much like Ace Combat, it presents a "Hollywood" approach to war. Pick up a weapon, manually aim it at your enemies, and shoot.
While all of the previous Call of Duty games have been set in World War 2, this one is set in the current day. You play from the viewpoints of soldiers from different national militaries, all cooperating to stop a terrorist plot. Personally I think the story is pretty cheesy, and from reading previews of the game, it's obviously a rip off of the most recent season of TV's 24. But the Call of Duty games have never been about story, but exciting and chaotic gameplay.
COD4 emphasizes movie-style military heroics through heavily scripted action sequences. What that means is that as you play, a carefully orchestrated series of events will take place, with you right in the middle of it. You might be running along, chasing after retreating enemies, when all of a sudden... an enemy tank comes crashing through a wall. It fires its gun, causing a building to come crashing down around you. As debris surrounds you, you try to escape the building before being crushed to death. This series of events is a game "script," and if you play the mission again, these events will unfold again in the exact same way.
Many games have scripted gameplay events like COD, but the COD series is commonly seen as the king of scripted gameplay. Each of their scripts is memorable and fun to participate in.
Rock Band (Xbox 360, Playstation 2, Playstation 3)
Release date: November 23rd
This is the game that everyone can, and will, enjoy. Rock Band gives you four different game controllers, each a simplified version of a real life musical instrument. One microphone for a singer, two guitars, and a drum set. With this, you'll play this music rhythm game with up to 3 friends and pretend you're all part of a rock band. The singer must sing along with the music, much like you would during karaoke. Meanwhile, the guitarists and drummer must play their instruments, hitting buttons on their controllers at the right moment in order to score points.
Publisher MTV Games and distributor Electronic Arts plan to include hundreds of popular songs in the game. For a list of some of the songs expected at release, go here.
(Side story: During the summers, I work as a game tester at Electronic Arts. I was *so* close to being a game tester for this game! Argh! If only I had told them I was a good singer, instead of a mediocre one... I was only being modest, I'm sure I sing better than most of the other applicants, even if that's not saying much. Haha.)