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Calendar Man – Week of 2/21

No High Scores

This week marks the second week of the PlayStation Vita’s stupid staggered launch, the return of Alan Wake, a multi-armed, angry god-dude and the release of Syndicate. All of which should be interesting in one way or another, but if I had to put my finger on the one that would review the best, I’d go with Alan Wake. That’s probably just nostalgia talking though. I really enjoyed that game, right up until the last line of the game which had me scratching my head.

I currently have a Vita game (Uncharted) and a Vita memory card sitting at home without a console in which to stick them. I’d love to know if the limited edition, early adopter, whatever-the-hell it’s called bundle is selling well, because from my standpoint, it’s a gigantic pain in the ass. Games and accessories are available, but only at some stores. The console itself is available, but only at an even smaller subset of stores. Maybe this is increasing demand and building buzz, what do I know? I do know that the various deals in place don’t start until Wednesday, a full day after I pick up my console, which wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that I was going to use said deals to save some scratch on a memory card. You know, the required one. Oh well. It wouldn’t be a Sony hardware launch if it wasn’t filled with a bunch of unnecessary BS and proprietary crap. By know, you would think I’d know better.

Enough kvetching. On to the games…

New Releases
The PlayStation Vita comes out on Tuesday, except for the places where it comes out on Wednesday. I picked up the WiFi only version, as I have zero desire to pay for a cellular data plan, and zero need to know what others around me are playing. In fact, I’d be very surprised if anyone else around me has a Vita, period, much less be playing it at the same time I am. If, however, 3G is your thing, go for the 3G/Wi-Fi Bundle bundle. It comes with an 8GB memory card, a download code for a PSN game (Super Stardust Delta if memory serves) and a free month of AT&T data. Personally, I don’t think that’s all worth an extra $50 but that’s just me. YMMV.

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On the Vita launch game front, it looks like all of the top tier games came out last week, but maybe you’re really looking forward to playing Ninja Gaiden Sigma for the ninth time. Who knows. Like last year, I’m just going to list them all. I’m lazy like that.

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare comes out this week, allowing you to take back up the mantle of troubled writer Alan Wake. The game is a spin-off, rather than a proper sequel, and focuses more on action than suspense, something my nerves will undoubtedly welcome. Hopefully it will do well and we’ll see more spin-offs like this in the future, if not a full fledged sequel.

Out There Somewhere is a retro PC platformer with a teleportation mechanic. Good times! You can grab it from the MiniBoss blog.

Fractured Soul: Deep Void is an action platformer that uses both screens at once, thereby giving Nintendo’s blessed 3D the big ol’ finger.

Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D continues the 3DS’s trend of re-releasing earlier games, just with 3D. I’ve made my thoughts on that trend known before, so for now I’ll just say good luck and God speed.

Reading the reviews of Asura’s Wrath (PS3, 360) should be interesting. I know that Barnes didn’t like the demo very much due to the lack of actual gameplay in lieu of QTEs.

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Finally, Syndicate (360, PS3, PC) makes its long awaited debut and by “Long awaited” I mean that I don’t think anyone was waiting for a new Syndicate to come out in this form. Still, I always enjoy co-op so I’m rooting for it as something to play in the lulls of summer.

Deals
Target and Toys R Us won’t be selling Vita games and systems until Wednesday, except for when they may be selling them earlier. Best Buy is selling games and accessories now, but I didn’t see any systems when I was there on Sunday. Oh Sony. Never change.

Toys R Us – Get a free $20 gift card when purchasing $50 worth of Vita games and accessories. If you think you can use your new gift card to turn around and pay for another game or memory card, don’t bother. The card isn’t good until six hours after activation because apparently, Toys R Us hates you. It also expires at the end of March. You’ve been warned. Buy one game at $19.99, get one at 40% off.

Target – Buy two Vita games, get one free. I believe that Target splits the cost of the third game as a discount across all games, so if you only wanted two games, you could buy three, get the discount and then return the one you don’t want and still keep the discount across the other two. Be sure to check your receipt. Get a gree 4GB memory card with the purchase of a Vita. Get a 12 month Xbox Live Gold card for $39.99. All Skylanders started packs (except for PC) for $49.99.

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Best Buy – Get Just Dance Summer Party free with purchase of Wii console or copy of Just Dance 3.

Kmart – Get a 250GB Xbox 360 and a copy of UFC 3 for $299.99

Brandon

Brandon loves games, which shouldn't be a surprise given where you're reading this. He has written for GameShark, The Escapist and G4, and made them all less relevant as a result.

13 thoughts to “Calendar Man – Week of 2/21”

  1. Has anyone else ever done such a staggered start to a console release as with the Vita?  I can’t remember anybody ever releasing games for a system weeks before the release of the thing you play it on. It’s like Sony looked at the 3DS release and said, ‘let’s do the opposite of what they did, since they released everything late lets release everything early.’ It’s like they have forgotten a major rule of releasing a consumer product , timing.

  2. I’ll be shocked if the Vita sells out.  I’m planning on buying one at some point just to play Lumines, which, by the way, was literally the only game I spent anytime with on the PSP.  

  3. Not sure about this one. It fails miserably as a video game, but the action is over-the-top and fun enough that I do legitimately want to see more. Shame they didn’t just make it into an anime. Would have worked better like that. Oh well, maybe once the price drops significantly.

  4. I hope Syndicate is decent. I played the demo and I liked it. The plain colors were boring but the team work aspect was enjoyable as was the skill tree. I’m going to wait and see what my friends do.

  5. What’s the final word on the Vita?  I keep hearing that people will buy, just not right now, or PA who hates Sony for selling it like they did, but want the Vita.  I’ve got the money, they’ve got the potential just like the 3DS had; but will it fall flat on its face like the PSPGO?

  6. Yeah, I liked it too. It did look pretty flat, but I thought it captured a pretty neat feeling of being a Cyberpunk bad ass on a team out to do a mission…and I thought that it did feel something like Syndicate, even if it’s not turn-based. The guns were fun, the teamwork was good, the abilites were cool…I think it might be a sleeper, if people will give it a chance to succeed on its own.

    Or it could be completely terrible. I’m doing the review, I’ll let you know.

     

  7. I won’t have mine until wednesday, but I think all of this “DOA” talk is WAY premature. The way people on the internet act is ridiculous. If a system doesn’t blow retailers’ doors off in the first month of release, it’s deemed a failure by the forumista dogpile/teardown committee- witness the 3DS, which is now in full swing and showing healthy sales figures.  People are cautious about laying down $250 on ANY new console these days, and they’ll wait to see more software or they’ve been trained to wait for price drops. It isn’t surprising that it isn’t just exploding up the sales charts. Especially since dedicated handhelds are, more than ever, a less mainstream product than home-based consoles are.

    I think it’s got potential, I’m looking forward to seeing what it can do. The launch games are good, but it is disappointing that like that 3DS, they’re almost all ports or spin-offs. It may not be until Gravity Rush that we really get a sense of what sets the Vita apart.

    I’m trying to work the sales to lay hands on Uncharted, Rayman, Lumines, Blazblue (can’t find it ANYWHERE), and Hot Shots. But I’m having second thoughts about Uncharted…I’m not sure that’s the kind of game I want on a handheld in the first place.

  8. Good point but I wouldn’t say the 3DS is in full swing, I’ve got a total of 3 games 2 of which are ports.  Mario Kart is always a good idea; but I much prefer it on the Wii as it’s one of two games that are still played these days.  I’ll watch your reactions Wednesday; if all goes well I’ll pick one up a bit later down the road.

  9. I own 0 3DS games!  There’s some good ones- even great ones like RE: Revelations- but I just don’t keep anything unless it’s Forever Shelf material. That said, I was really disappointed in the Mario titles. I think I’m finally over that whole thing.

    It is still ports and spin-offs, you’re right about that. There’s not something like a Ghost Trick, Elite Beat Agents, or The World Ends With You yet…something that offers a very platform-specific experience.

    All this Vita stuff, I’m getting but knowing full well that it’s probably all going to get traded in within a month…

  10. That’s what I wanted to hear, thanks for your opinion on the matter; I’ll wait and see; unless they announce a Ratchet & Clank I doubt I’ll buy it until a price drop.

  11. I rented Uncharted and just bought Lumines, Rayman and Marvel vs Capcom Ultimate Whatever. I’m least sold on Uncharted. The idea of having my exploration hit a snag for some stupid touch screen control bit doesn’t leave me with a warm fuzzy. It reminds me of having to tilt the controller to throw grenades in the original Uncharted.

    As for that kind of game on the Vita, man, I’m all over it. I loved the Syphon Filter games on the PSP as well as the God of War games and the Ratchet and Clank game (not Secret Agent Clank, that sucked). Another thumb stick will only help those games.

    I too think that the demise of the Vita is wildly overblown. As the 3DS has shown, the right mix of pricing and games can change a system’s fortunes overnight. Plus, if there’s a Call of Duty game on the Vita, with two thumbsticks and full on multiplayer, that will move some units.

    I hope to have mine in hand on Tuesday. If not, be sure to check back on Wednesday and read all about my awesome trampoline moves.

  12. I particularly “love” the reviews that damn the Vita for not having a phone. “It isn’t what I want, so it sucks” review. Ugh. 

    I’ll find out what the fuss is about on Wednesday. Taking the day off even

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