Every week, I recap what I’ve been playing and offer some quick thoughts. Games appear roughly in the order of how much time I devoted to them, with the most-played game topping the list.
“Crackdown 2” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360, due out Tuesday): I played this game almost exclusively on my days off this week, but there’s a publisher’s embargo on saying anything about it until 6 a.m. on Monday. I probably won’t have a review by then, as I’m working all weekend and still haven’t finished the game, but I’ll probably start Tweeting about it when I wake up Monday. I will say I’m extremely stoked that for the first time, I was able to download a full retail release to play on my console, rather than having a disc mailed to me for review. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing that trend continue.
“ModNation Racers” (rated E, $60 on PlayStation 3, $30 on PlayStation Portable): I played both the console and the portable build of Sony’s kart racer a ton earlier in the week, as I crammed in as much play time as possible before writing my review. Because I’m always trying to move on to the next game I want to review, I don’t do much replaying of already-reviewed games. But “ModNation Racers” has a long tail and has pretty bite-sized gameplay. Right now, it’s on the bubble of being in the Top 5 games of the year’s first six months, but it’s primed to rise, despite its flaws.
“Culdcept Saga” (rated T, out of print on Xbox 360): After tinkering with decks for the next season of the league I run, I decided I’m gonna take a little break from my favorite online game, or at least from league play. The seasons can be a pretty big time commitment, and I want to spend some of my “Culdcept” time playing new releases and also diving into the online play for “ModNation Racers.” I sort of have a rule about only playing one “old” game at a time, and I’m gonna mix in a few more titles. I’ll still shoehorn in “Culdcept” matches from time to time, but my days of competing for a championship are on hold. Instead, I’ll likely remain the “Culdcept Saga” version of the Buffalo Bills. I’ve run off more than a dozen consecutive regular-season wins but have yet to make it to the finals of any season I’ve played in.
“Risk Factions” (rated E10+, $10 Xbox Live Arcade download): Noticing half my Xbox Live friends list was playing this, and hearing nothing but good things, I bought the reimagining of the classic board game this week and was pleasantly surprised. I whipped through all the scenarios in short order and I could see this becoming my half-hour, postwork spaceout game now that I’ve unlocked all the cards in “Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers.”
“Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker” (rated M, $40 on PlayStation Portable): I’m going to start this one Saturday night after work. I’ll be curious to see how it plays to someone who’s not played a “Metal Gear Solid” game. Will I be hopelessly lost the way I was when I tried to watch the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie without having seen the first? Or will it stand on its own?
“Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords” (rated E10+, $10 Xbox Live Arcade download): Now that the sequel is out, I feel like I’ve gotta wrap up the first “Puzzle Quest” before I take the plunge on a fairly similar title.