OK, I’m lousy at updating my library pics unlike some of my fellow collectors on WP, but here’s a random sampling of stuff I’ve picked up through budget buys or a few trades. I’ve played all of the PS3 games in the photo previously on the 360, but as I have the worst luck with that console in terms of keeping them working after a few months (shakes fist at non-working 360’s sitting nearby collecting dust), I’ve had to pick the games shown up again. All are great in their own ways with El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron and Shadows of the Damned near polar opposites in weirdness, tone and impact (bot are good, but supremely strange). Warhammer 40K: Space Marine is a big, beefy kill-fest extravaganza that’s quite well done but fairly linear. It’s one of the more visceral action games I’ve played in that you’re going to be wading into packs of Orks and chunking up enemies by assorted means, all of them satisfying. It’s too bad THQ has been having assorted financial issues, as this one NEEDS a sequel or new installment (perhaps on other platforms).
As for the DS stuff, I really liked Blue Dragon on the 360 (with the exception of searching, no, SCOURING maps for items found much easier in other RPGs), so getting Blue Dragon Plus was something I wanted to do for a while. Fortunately, Canada’s best kept secret, online entertainment retailer, iNetVideo.com had it dirt cheap new, albeit with a HUGE sticker on the outer cardboard slipcase (argh). THe DS game is actually a RTS with RPG elements and takes a bit of getting used to. While searching for this, I found out there’s a second DS Blue Dragon game (Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow) that got released in the US. It’s a bit more expensive from what I’ve seen so far, so on the wait/want list it goes. I think I ran a pic of Magical Starsign a while back, but in case i didn’t – here you go. Developer Brownie Brown also worked on Blue Dragon Plus, but the games are so different that you can’t tell at all.
I also got Insecticide, another game I’ve wanted to play, cheap from iNet, and it’s OK for what it is, a funky action/adventure detective story starring a female bug. Weird, yes, but despite some control issues, the game is a bit of fun… unless you really hate roaches. I think there’s a PC version as well, which would explain the CG movies here (they don’t look too good on the DS’ tiny screen). It’s to bad this didn’t do well at retail, as it would have been cool to see it updated for the Vita or 3DS. As for the movies, well, I bought District 9 cheap off eBay simply because it had a God of War III demo and yes, I do STILL collect demo discs (which sadly, there aren’t a lot of for the US PlayStation 3). I need to track down a complete listing of every PS3 demo disc, as I have very few, but know there are plenty of imports in the form of magazine demos, trade discs and review code, all of which interest me.
The Host is a film I’ve heard a ton of great things about, but to date, it’s never appeared on cable here. In my hunting about, it seems that could be because the film makes not so positive (or subtle) references about the US military and I guess that sort of stuff means a bit of censorship in terms of getting any sort of love from even the so-called “indie” channels like Sundance and IFC. If any of this is true, then a big BOO to this sort of stupid thinking, as it’s a great monster movie worth watching a few times. The fact that great CGI was “outsourced” by the Korean director to an American effects house (which did an AMAZING job, by the way) should be enough of a reason to see this, I say.
As for The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest, it’s a game I wanted to try on the PS2 for a few reasons that probably deserve a column to themselves. In brief, it was one of the final PlayStation 2 games to be released (in North America) and it’s not at all like the PS3 version, which was better looking, but a wee bit too ambitious in what it was trying to accomplish. On the PS2, it’s the exact same game as the PSP and DS versions, an isometric action RPG-lite that plays similar to the first Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance (but not as visually polished). It’s also another case where a LOTR game ends up as very different across a few consoles. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ended up as two very different experiences on the PS2 and Xbox to the point that one HAD to play both games just to marvel at how each tackled the same story. Two different developers working from the same source material made for two mighty interesting games, each with similar areas, but different layouts in spots and I recall slightly different endings.
As for Total Recall – it was cheap at iNet Video and I got it as a gag gift for a friend I ran into recently who I hadn’t seen since the original Total Recall was in theaters. The kicker here is he got me the SAME darn DVD and sent it to me in the mail just as this one arrived, so he beat me to the punch a day before I was planning to surprise him. Anyway, iNet’s prices are cheap (they run sales every week), their shipping insanely FAST to the US (well, to New York City at least) and if you’re looking for some interesting collection choices (expect French and English manuals in some games or Canadian versions of DVD’s and Blu-Rays), you should absolutely drop by there some time. That’s it for now, I think. Then again, I probably have a few Wii games I haven’t posted pics of yet…