On TGS ’09…

Out of the frying pan and into the sizzler I suppose. Just as quickly as one conference ends, gaming journalists the world over flock to the Eastern kingdom for the more traditional parade of gaming achievement that is the Tokyo Game Show. Though TGS tends to equal the amount of announcements that E3 ritualistically shows, the former rarely fails to bring the intensity that the latter can only inconsistantly harness from year to year. That being said, E3’s “Big 3” conferences do seem to capture the ears of gamers across the globe in a way only Kanye West can rival (pardon the comment, I couldn’t help it). Now, to the tasks at hand…

Crackdown 2: I enjoyed the original title for crafting a somewhat intruiging story to an otherwise simple game mechanic of my-character-is-superman-but-still-bleeds-since-there-has-to-be-some-level-of-difficulty. I jump hundreds of feet through the air, heave a few sedans at generic gang members, and then drive my (probably) gas-inefficient Hummer-on-steroids to the next island…but with a purpose to reunite. I can’t say one way or the other if I like this even more flagrant expose of science fiction, but I suppose the idea of using the same less-powered villains just didn’t seem appealing to the designers, so why not throw in some genetic-mutating gas of evil? For now, I will wait until more comes out of the woodwork.

Ninety-Nine Night 2: Let’s be clear, first and foremost: the quality and execution of the first game does not, in any way, merit the need for a sequel. To be blunt, it was horrible, so much so that I questioned myself for spending the six dollars to rent it. The Dynasty Warriors franchise has continued to survive insofar that the only “catch” was giving players the ability to beat down hundreds of people in a Crouching-Tiger, Hidden Dragon fashion, which I fully admit to enjoying on multiple occasions. Even more impressive, though, was that Konami was smart not to try and elaborate the game beyond that premise. And that’s fine. Upon the arrival of this game, however, someone seemed to think they could graft some semblance of emotional connection AND jack up the body count—to which they failed at accomplishing either. Now, to see a second venture into the land of bubble-summoning princesses (she is, I shit you not, a character in the original title), I question the relative sanity of some designers and can only hope this title will miraculously prove me wrong.

Dead-Rising 2: I love zombies. I love zombies on fire. I love zombies on fire and slicing them in half with a sword. Dead-Rising gave me all of this in the form of a photographer with an everlasting hangover, and I am elated to get a second helping. There was something morbidly beautiful about utilizing even the most mundane mall products for zombie killing, but rather than judge myself for discovering this fetish, I exploited it to its full capacity. The fleshed out multi-player mode takes the often misunderstood comical angle of zombie slaying and turns it into a game show with various goals. Whether or not the multi-player is successful though is something I will most likely overlook because of the sheer fact that I’m killing zombies. On fire. With a sword. My higher thought process ends there.

I will continue to read up on TGS as it goes into the weekend, so if it seems I have overlooked certain titles, rest assured I will try to get to them in time.

See you in the next level,



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