I had some familial commitments this week, so it was a little lighter than usual, but here’s what I found time for.
“Crackdown 2” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360): I played solo earlier in the week so I could finish the game before I reviewed it. I spent most of Thursday afternoon and evening playing multiplayer with my friends. I’ve sunk about 18-20 hours into this game so far, much of it in co-op. Now that I’m almost fully leveled up and have collected more than half of the various orbs, plus finished the main story, my interest is starting to wane a bit. I’ll probably try to close all the freak breaches and secure the tactical locations this week, while finding as many orbs as possible. I expect my regular three/foursome will go back to “Borderlands” or some other old favorite starting next week.
“Deathsmiles” (rated T, $50 on Xbox 360): I picked up this side-scrolling shoot-’em-up because I was curious to play a game made by Japanese cult developer Cave. This is their first game to make it to the U.S., and I was honestly pretty surprised to see it when I stopped into the Novato GameStop last week. The purpose of my visit was to pick up “3D Dot Game Heroes,” but I ended up buying both that and this game. “Deathsmiles” is weird, to say the least. You control one of five different “gothic lolitas” (the marketing materials’ term, not mine) who’ve taken on flying angel form. You basically control this tiny character and fly around and shoot everything. Why you’re controlling girls and not, say, spaceships is kind of beyond me, but the non-perverts playing the game are playing for the gameplay and weirdness. One boss fight had me squaring off against a giant cow’s head. When I killed it, I unlocked an achievement called “boss milking.”
“Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords” (rated E10+, $10 Xbox Live Arcade download): I’ve still got a couple of achievements to knock out on this game before I buy the sequel. I’m getting close both to Level 50 and defeating Lord Bane. Then I have to decide between the downloadable content for “Puzzle Quest” or the full “PQ2” experience.
“Fallout 3” (rated M, $60 Game of the Year edition on Xbox 360 or PS3, $50 or cheaper on PC): I hadn’t played Bethesda’s last RPG in ages, but I realized the other day I only had 740 achievement points. That’s just sad. So I fired it up, finished a quest I didn’t complete the first time around and called it a night.
That’s pretty much it. I tried to play “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker” last night, but my PSP got tied up by a low battery/system update, so I opted to go to bed instead. This week will probably see me playing more “Deathsmiles,” starting “Sin & Punishment: Star Successor,” knocking out some more “Crackdown 2” achievements and finally getting to “MGS: Peace Walker,” among other things.