Sunday, June 25, 2006

New Games!

It's after 1 AM here. I'm bored. So I decided to make a quick blog post.

I picked up two new games today, Brain Age for the DS and Breakdown for the Xbox. After playing the demo on my Ds, I knew that I would eventually own a copy of my own. After playing it for real today, I have to say…

If you own a DS, this game should be in your collection. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

I'm addicted to it. Sure, the concept borders on homework, but somehow, this "game" (I use quotes because it's not really a game in the conventional sense) actually makes me want to do math problems. As soon as I discovered that my “Brain Age” was 32 (actually, at first it was 59 then I got it down to 37 and now 32), I immediately got to work doing some of the many training exercises. The Ideal Brain Age is 20 and that’s what I’m aiming for. I’ll have a review posted on this game soon.

When I walked into EB games, the bargain bin caught my eye. I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. As I began sifting through the games, Breakdown caught my eye. In last months OXM, there was a list of the 20 most overlooked Xbox games. Breakdown was among the top three. As soon as I saw it and the price ($6.99) I had to have it. So I took it to the counter and bought it, along with my copy of Brain Age. The clerk asked me if I wanted to purchase the $1 warranty on my new copy of Breakdown. I didn’t hesitate to say yes. It was only a buck.

Boy, am I glad I got that warranty.

When I got home and popped the game into my Xbox, I hadn’t even looked at the surface of the disc. My Xbox gave me a message about how the disc was unreadable and was likely scratched or dirty.

Oh crap.

I took the game out of my Xbox and looked at it. It was scratched to hell. How did the person that traded it in manage to get EB games to even take it in this condition? I immediately started trying to clean the disc using a combination of water and my T-shirt. No luck. I began to frantically search for the receipt, which also had my warranty information on it. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I ran out to the car, frantic, hoping that I didn’t just waste seven dollars (eight with the warranty). There the receipt was, sitting on the seat. I breathed a sigh of relief and proceeded to take the game back to the store to get a working copy.

The game was cheerfully replaced and I went home happy, thanking my lucky stars that I bought the warranty.

The game itself is awesome. I don’t know why it didn’t sell better than it did. It’s sort of a First person shooter / fighting game that takes place entirely from the First Person perspective, even the cutscenes, which I have to say, are done incredibly well. I’m about an hour into the game now and I’m amazed. The controls are a bit strange, but aside from that, I don’t have any other complaints.

While I was in EB Games, I managed to get my hands on the new Nintendo DS Lite and play a little bit of New Super Mario Bros as well.

The DS Lite really is small, but despite its smaller size, the dual screens themselves don’t shrink in size (in fact, due to the DS Lite’s proportions, the screens actually seem bigger). The face buttons have a more satisfying feel to them. The original DS (often called the DS Heavy or the DS Phat) face buttons have a “clicky” feel to them, like on a cell phone keypad. They don’t have the satisfying “give” that the DS Lite has. The Ds Lite is certainly more attractive, and I will soon buy one for myself.

As for the game, I enjoyed New Super Mario Bros. It brings back memories of the old school side scrolling games and somehow manages to feel fresh at the same time. This will probably be my next game purchase.

Well, that's it for my (not so quick after all) blog post for today. I'll post more updates soon, including a list of the most criminally overlooked games last gen. That I didn't feel like posting at the moment.

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