games / Columns

Average Gamer 11.13.12: Holiday Edition III

November 13, 2012 | Posted by Dan Watson

Welcome back to the Average Gamer.

This weekend was pretty low key as I have been fighting off some cold/flu thing since Thursday. It started off with a sore throat and has escalated to cough, stuffy nose, exhaustion, etc. Always fun to fight on the last decent day of weather for the year.

Being sick did give me the opportunity to watch a lot of sports this past weekend. I may be in the minority here but I have to say, it was nice to see the shakeup in the BCS. I would love to see a Kansas St versus Notre Dame Championship if for no other reason than to see two teams that are not in the SEC or Pac 12. The Vikings of course closed up the gap between the division leading Chicago Bears with a big win against Detroit while the Bears lost at home against the Texans in a very heavily defensive game.
In the gaming world, I have been very busy. I have been trying to spread my time between WWE 13, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Dance Central 3, Borderlands 2, and Halo 4. Shockingly, I am doing pretty well with this. Each of those games is really good and it makes it that much harder to spread my time around.

This week, instead of focusing on consoles or accessories, I want to go ahead and give you a few arcade titles I have reviewed as well as a few lesser known or forgotten titles to consider this holiday season. Please again; feel free to toss some comments in the comments section with your own opinion on games to pick up this holiday season.

Game Time

Homerun Stars (Xbox 360 Arcade)

This game has a lot going for it. For starters, it plays amazingly and works extremely well. If you are in need of a home run derby game for Kinect that actually works without frustration, this is it. In the single player mode, you can breeze through it once you have your timing down. The general idea is you swing when you are supposed to and use your lead foot as an aimer as to where you want to hit. There are targets scattered around and your goal is to hit them. Simple enough, and extremely easy in single player. The fun gets into multiplayer and using a Smartglass device. Instead of the AI pitching, your opponent uses the Smartglass device (iPad, tablet, etc) to select the pitch type and then hit a few targets to create the speed of the pitch. It works very well.

Overall, the game is good but in the long run there isn’t much here outside of the home run derby. If you are interested in this type of game, or are looking to work on your timing in the offseason, this game is for you.

Rating: 7.5/10.

Okami HD (PSN)

Looking for a retro game that is still worth your time? This game is exactly that. For those that have never played or heard of Okami, the story is simple. You are a Sun-Goddess named Amaterasu in the form of a wolf. You need to go through and restore color or as they call it in the game life to the world. As you go through the game, you gain more worshippers and become stronger. Simple concept, fun gameplay, and even better graphics than you could imagine. This game is worth picking up alone based on the graphics. Overall it’s a fun game with very few flaws if any at all.

Rating: 9/10.

Retail Games worth looking into

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission (Xbox 360, PC)

A strategy-based game, Carrier Command: Gaea Mission offers a unique combination of first- and third-person action. The game features a deep story set in a massive environment with more than 30 unique islands hosting six distinct climate zones. Alongside their ragtag crew, players will mount a powerful campaign to control a network of island bases set within the universe. Commanders must manage multiple vehicles in real-time while acquiring and manufacturing upgrades, weapons and enhancements to guarantee victory on the battlefield.

Hitman: Absolution (Xbox 360, PS3)

Hitman: Absolution follows Agent 47, a cold-blooded assassin, who takes on his most dangerous contract to date. Betrayed by those he once trusted — and now hunted by the police — Agent 47 suddenly finds himself at the center of a dark conspiracy and must embark on a personal journey through a corrupt and twisted world. This one is available November 20, 2012.

Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] (Nintendo 3DS)

Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] continues the story of Sora and Riku of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II as they undertake the Mark of Mastery exam in order to become true Keyblade Masters. Players can explore 7 different worlds from Disney’s different films and interact with other Disney characters like Mickey, Donald Duck and Goofy among others.

Sleeping Dogs (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Sleeping Dogs welcomes players to Hong Kong, a vibrant neon city teaming with life, whose exotic locations and busy streets hide one of the most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations in the world: the Triads. You play the role of Wei Shen, an undercover cop trying to take down the Triads from the inside out. You’ll have to prove yourself worthy as you fight your way up the organization, taking part in brutal criminal activities without blowing your cover.

Midway Arcade Origins (PS3, Xbox 360)

Midway Arcade Origins is a throwback arcade title that includes 30 of the most well-known Midway titles for $29.99. At only $1 per game, this is the perfect stocking stuffer for that hard to buy for guy! Save those quarters, as there is no cabinet required here — just an Xbox 360 or PlayStation3! The collection offers several fan favorite titles, including Gauntlet, Rampage, Joust, Spy Hunter, Defender, Marble Madness and more.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (Nintendo 3DS)

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a “theater rhythm” music game in which players use their stylus to tap and hold notes to the music of the Final Fantasy franchise. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a musical celebration of the past 25 years for the Final Fantasy franchise. With 70 different songs spanning thirteen different games, relieve your favorite Final Fantasy moments as you play.

Well ladies and gentlemen, that is it for this week. Enjoy the rest of your week and hopefully wherever you are is warmer than where I am here in Chicago. Have a great week and see you next week.

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Dan Watson
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