After last week’s two-headed monster of “Mass Effect 2” and “MAG,” this week seems relatively tame, with a new “Star Trek” MMO being the lone major release.
“Star Trek Online” (rated T, $50 on PC, plus subscription fees): Early reviews are in for this new, massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the “Star Trek” universe. As far as MMOs go, it sounds like it has a few issues that need to be dealt with, namely ho-hum ground combat. But there seems to be enough in there initially to appease fans of the franchise.
“Fret Nice” (rated E, $15 download on PlayStation 3): This mashup of the music and platform-jumping genres is the first that I know of that lets you control a character with the guitar controllers used for the “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” games. The price tag is a bit steep for what amounts to an experimental game, though, so it’s probably worth keeping an eye out for a price drop unless you’re the curious sort.
“‘Splosion Man” (rated E10+, on sale for $5 through Monday on Xbox Live): This cartoony action title from Twisted Pixel (“The Maw”) was one of last year’s top downloadable titles, and you can get it through Monday for $5. You play as the eponymous hero, who can make himself explode at will, as you seek to escape the lab that created you.
“BioShock” (rated M, $20 on Xbox 360, prices vary on PC): With the sequel due out on Tuesday, this weekend is a great time to catch up on the events in Rapture, the underwater utopia gone wrong that serves as the setting for “BioShock.” The first game’s memorable characters, terrific plot twists and stylish architecture make it one of this console generation’s classic titles. If you’re a PC gamer, both Direct2Drive and Steam are having a promotion where if you preorder the sequel, you get the first “BioShock” for free.
“Rock Band 2” (rated T, prices vary depending on configuration): Couldn’t get enough of The Who’s Super Bowl XLIV halftime show? Well, Harmonix is going to have a Super Bowl medley of Who tracks available shortly after the real-life Who performs. It’ll run you just $2 and let you fulfill your dreams of playing live at the biggest American sporting event, without having to leave your living room.
“Chime” (rated E, $5 on Xbox Live Arcade): I blogged about this game, whose profits benefit a pair of children’s charities, earlier in the week.
“White Knight Chronicles: International Edition” (rated T, $60 on PlayStation 3): This Japanese-style role-playing game came out in Japan back in 2008 and took forever to get a stateside release. If the reviews are any indication, its battle system will appeal to fans of the genre, but the game as a whole is fairly pedestrian.
What I’m playing this weekend: I’m at work as I’m writing this Sunday, but so far this weekend, I’ve been working on “Mass Effect 2” with the goal of having a review ready for next week. I also hooked up with some friends for a little “Halo 3: ODST” firefight mode and “Borderlands” on Saturday. Although I followed my own advice and picked up “‘Splosion Man” on the cheap, I have no idea when I’ll get to play it. I’m out of Microsoft Points, but the next time I buy a bunch I’ll be picking up “Chime” because it’s for a good cause.