Here’s a quick look at what I played last week, as well as what I thought of each game. Titles are listed roughly in order of how much time I spent playing them, from most to least.
“Sports Champions” (rated E10+, $40 on PlayStation 3): My next column for the paper will be a review of a bunch of PlayStation Move titles. “Sports Champions,” which is basically Sony’s clone of “Wii Sports,” was the first game I tried. I’m not sure if it’s the trophy support or the fact that the people in “Sports Champions” have hands and feet, but I’m finding this game holds up better as a solo game than “Wii Sports,” a title I generally only break out when company’s around.
“Guilty Party” (rated E, $40 on Wii) [review]: At the beginning of the week, I wrapped up play on this family mystery game for the Wii by spending some time with the party mode. Though my wife and I aren’t the target market for this game, I really appreciated what Wideload accomplished. Recommended for families with preteen kids who like playing games like Clue together.
“Sid Meier’s Civilization V” (rated E10+, $50 on PC): I’ve been sneaking in time with the latest iteration of my favorite strategy franchise. I haven’t logged enough time to say anything definitive yet, but I’m having fun and expect to write a review one of these days. A lot of gamers have been reporting difficulty with the game crashing on them, but so far so good for me.
“Halo: Reach” (rated M, $60, $80 or $150 on Xbox 360) [review]: A buddy of mine and I tackled a couple of campaign missions on Legendary difficulty. Either we’re not very good, or they weren’t kidding when they named the difficulty. Probably a little from column A, a little from column B.
“DJ Hero” (rated T, $70 for bundle including turntable controller on Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3): I imagine I’ll be playing through a couple of setlists a week on this game until the sequel comes out in a few weeks.
“Culdcept Saga” (rated T, out of print on Xbox 360): Man, I am proving to be the Philadelphia Eagles of the leagues I run over at Culdcept Central. No, I’m not pinning my hopes on a guy who murdered dogs. It’s that every year, I blaze through the regular season, only to come up short in the playoffs. I got bounced this week by a pretty skilled player when he played well and my cards didn’t come out the way I want them to. I’m actually going to take a break from running leagues as well as playing my favorite Xbox Live game, now that there are so many fall games demanding my attention.
“Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers” (rated T, $10 download for Xbox 360) [review]: I tried to delude myself into thinking “Planeswalkers,” with its much shorter games and larger player base, could scratch the same itch as “Culdcept Saga.” So I fired it up the other night to unwind for a few minutes, only to find myself in a game with a sore loser who forced the game into an endless cycle of lagging with the hopes that I would get fed up and quit the match, giving him the win. I told him that I was prepared to wait all week, though, and that I’d be happy to just leave my Xbox on and use the PS3. He gave up his whiny mission after 45 minutes, and I got the win in about as much time as a match of “Culdcept Saga” would take. I did something I never do and filed a “tampering” complaint over Xbox Live.
“Demon’s Souls” (rated M, $30 on PS3): After playing “Sports Champions” for three hours the other night and feeling the effects of a tired arm, I decided to unwind with a little “Demon’s Souls.” Man, it’s rare these days for me to not get anywhere in a game after sinking a couple of hours into it. “Demon’s Souls” is just brutally hard. From talking to folks who’ve played it, though, it sounds like I’m not taking full advantage of my wizard’s targeting ability. Also, apparently the way to go in “Demon’s Souls” is to start off with one of the hardier classes, then learn spells down the road. So I may make a new character.
“Deathsmiles” (rated T, $30 on Xbox 360) [review]: When I wanted a half-hour game to unwind after work Saturday night, I skipped “Planeswalkers” and went for the shoot-’em-up stylings of “Deathsmiles.” I seem to have gotten better at this game by not playing it for a month, as I didn’t really die too many times before reaching the game’s final boss.
“DeathSpank” (rated T, $15 download for PlayStation 3): Spent a handful of minutes goofing around with this “Diablo” parody the other night while waiting for my Move controller to charge.