New 360 Games (Gears of War, Need for Speed Carbon, Tony Hawk Project 8, Call of Duty) – Initial Impressions

Finally got to my batch of new 360 games with an hour or so into each to get the feel of them:

Gears of War – Definitely one of the best looking games in a long time – all the detail that a game like Doom3 could provide but without being massively specular or reflective – more gritty like a war-torn land should be!   So far, I’ve yet to get the groove of the gameplay (single player for right now) but that could just be a matter of still being jet lagged.

Need For Speed Carbon – While I’m not 100% thrilled with the return to an “Underground” racing approach, they seem to have taken good elements from Hot Pursuit/Most Wanted along with the territory issues that were introduced in GTA:SA and also in Saints Row, and so there seems to be more than just racing going on – but it’s too early to tell on that.  The addition of the crew member with you during races may be rather interesting to see how it works out.

Tony Hawk Project 8 – Yay, no “wreck the city to win” type storyline – this appears to be just providing who you are as a skateboarder.  Only have done a handful of goals, but the system seems to be better this time around compared to American Wasteland.  And wow, Tony’s reaaaaally aged badly.

Call of Duty 3 – I’m liking the more impressive approach they’ve used in the in-game cutscenes (being in the truck as it blows up, watching your squad commander hoist you over a wall into the middle of a battle zone).  Plays the same so far as CoD 2, which is just fine for the most part, but it will be interesting to see what more they add.

Elite Beat Agents (DS) – Review

Elite Beat Agents Game CoverThe surprise success of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! as an import title for the Nintendo DS spurred into motion into getting a regional release of the game for the States as well as other regions around the world; unfortunately, the title, produced by iNiS (who have also produced Gitaroo Man), is rather solidly tied to Japan due to the music and story presented; even a translation would have been difficult to accomplish. Instead, they have decided to reversion Ouendan into “Elite Beat Agents”, which provides new songs and new stories and visuals, while still keeping the same great gameplay and overall approach to the game. Continue reading