Got Game? August 06 Feature - The Next Level

Got Game? August 06

It's back...

Article by TNL Staff (Email)
August 10th 2006, 04:25AM

James Cunningham

There's not really a lot of gaming news to talk about currently, so I'm going to rattle on about the coming Fall gaming season instead. There just haven't been many games to play lately. I could talk about the great swimming hole I went to the other day, complete with a rope swing over a 20 foot drop into a river I couldn't touch the bottom of, but it's not what we're here for. Although climbing out of the water onto a semi-sheer rock face to get back up was a lot of fun.

I seem to be buying fewer games lately, and I'm not sure it's down to summer doldrums. The $60 price-tag on the next-gen stuff just isn't as appealing as $40-$50 is, and so it looks like my Xbox 360 time is going to be mostly spent on Live Arcade and Dead Rising. I'll admit to being somewhat curious about Just Cause, Phantasy Star Universe, and Dead or Alive Extreme, but that's not the same as planning to spend money. The only other game I know I'll throw down the cash for is Viva Pinata, which just looked really cool at E3. I've got no use for the micro-transactions that go with it, though.

Gamecube and Xbox are about 95% dead at this point, but they aren't being retired quite yet. It's just too bad that Super Paper Mario looks like it's coming out next year. By then I'll have a Wii, and I won't have any use for a Cube after that thanks to its backwards compatibility. Xbox fares a bit better because the twin-stick shooter Xyanide is on the way, and Bully might actually come out someday. I'm also kind of hoping that XS Games releases the Xbox version of The Red Star in addition to the announced PS2 one. That's it for those two systems though; they died much faster than I was thinking they would.

The PS2 is faring much better. Okami, Final Fantasy XII, Chulip, Raiden 3, Tokobot Plus, Godhand, Guitar Hero 2, and more all demand varying levels of attention, and I'm sure a few surprises will pop up along the way. It's not a bad showing at all for the graphically weakest system of the current-gen. What really worries my finances is the Wii. Nintendo's new system is going to be an expensive one despite the console's relatively low cost. An extra controller, a few sets of rechargeable batteries, and a pile of games don't come cheap. I've got very high hopes for the Wii, and expect it to be one of the best multiplayer systems ever.

It's going to be a good gaming year, and I haven't even mentioned the handhelds. Now all I need to do is figure out the related issues of time and money and I'm good to go.

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