Here’s a look at what’s looking good this weekend, with an emphasis on new releases, sales or games that are otherwise relevant.
“Darkspore” (rated T, $50 for PC): I previewed this game earlier this week, and the reviews I’ve seen of the latest from Maxis Games (“The Sims,” “Spore”) jibe with my initial impressions. It’s shaping up to appeal to fans of hack-and-slash dungeon crawlers like “Diablo,” with a bit of “Pokemon”-style collecting and role-playing-game-style creature customization thrown in. If you’re looking for a fairly mindless hack-and-slash without a lot of story to get in the way of loot-grinding and playing co-op with your friends, you could do a lot worse.
“Outland” (rated E10+,$10 download on Xbox 360): Ubisoft’s 2D adventure is aimed squarely at fans of old-school classics like “Metroid” and “Castlevania.” So far, it’s been winning raves from critics. The fact that it’s launching at $10 rather than the customary $15 should spur a few more impulse purchases, me included.
“Nin2-Jump” (rated T, $5 download on Xbox 360): This platform-jumping game from Cave, a studio best known for shoot-’em-ups like “Deathsmiles” [review], probably won’t rate as highly for most gamers as “Outland,” but the $5 price point is a draw for fans of the genre. You play as a ninja trying to rescue a princess.