October 2005

Weekly Releases

October 31, 2005

I am pretty pumped up for Battlefront 2 and as such I made sure my copy was on order and the Gamerush at Babcock and Prue already has their copies so getting yours on release date shouldn’t be an issue. Make sure you also pickup Episode 3 tomorrow.

Also coming out this week is TMNT3 and I am really confused about that one. I mean, TMNT was [url=http://www.snackbar-games.com/reviews/79]pretty weak[/url] with an average Gameranking score hovering about 61% with the GBA version weighing in at the top with a 70.9%. TMNT2 actually had worse ratings than the first game with an overall average of 49.2%. With those kinds of figures, why oh why would Konami decide to go ahead and make a third game in this series? It was evident that they had gotten so far away from the greatness of the NES versions that they were doomed to mediocrity, but to continue to churn out games of this caliber makes no sense.

Guitar Hero also hits store shelves this week, if you are lucky. Otherwise you might find yourself shelling out $70-90 to pick up this guitar simulator.

A few other gems coming out this week are Castlevania: Curse of Darkness and CoD2 hits the consoles. Things are only proving to get crazier as this holiday season approaches.

Battlefreezy II

October 31, 2005

Err uh Battlefront II is coming out, which means Pretz, myself and some crew folk are gonna get some Xbox Live action going on. Dibs on all Jedi, all the time. If you are a Star Wars fan, this game promises to bring some fun multiplay action into the mix. The last one was fine, not great by any means but a good building point so I do expect a lot from part II.

Lets get it on!

Battalion Wars

October 31, 2005

[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/battalionwars/cover.jpg[/floatleft]Real-time strategy games would have to fall into my top three favorite gaming genres of all time. In fact, playing [i]Dune[/i] on the Genesis for hours on end is still one of my fondest memories. Since their console departure, RTS games have been a mainstay in PC gaming. The [i]C&C[/i] series was fantastic, and [i]Blizzard[/i] of course has done some great things for the genre. Nintendo and [i]Battalion Wars[/i] bring the RTS genre back to the console.

The setting in [i]BW[/i] is one rife with tension and conflict. Two nations with a tense and heated past are separated by a thin demilitarized done. On one side of the conflict is the Western Frontier whose General Herman is itching to get his troops back into combat. On the other side is the Tsar of the Tundran Empire and his son Marshal Nova. As you may have already guessed, [i]BW[/i] isn’t exactly sporting an Oscar-winning plot, and it’s no surprise that fighting is about to break out.

[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/battalionwars/ss03_thumb.jpg[/floatright]One of the innovative features and approaches taken with [i]BW[/i] is the role you play in the game. Instead of a 3D overhead view, you actually play a character in the game in addition to controlling other units on your side. This is something that I always thought would make RTS games much more immersive, and sadly I think I was wrong. I’m really unsure as to whether or not the implementation of this concept was just off or if it becomes far too complicated to micromanage units and focus on a single character. I frequently found myself dying at the expense of unit management, or vice versa. Despite your role, you do have the ability to change your overhead view to provide a better view of the action. After experiencing a concept I swore would improve the genre, I think the tried-and-true method of removed overhead management is the way to go.

The in-game tutorial does a nice job of prepping you for battle, and like I described above, there is a slight learning curve associated with unit management. While the action gets very hectic and almost frustrating, I found that the variety of units in [i]BW[/i], as well as the almost overwhelming ability to manage individual or groups of units, kept the action fresh and just difficult enough to keep you playing.

[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/battalionwars/ss13_thumb.jpg[/floatleft]Despite my almost instant dislike for what I would consider a pretty key part of the game, I am pretty happy with the way [i]BW[/i] turned out. I don’t know that I would proclaim it a ‘must-buy’ for RTS fans, but it’s nice to at least see how the role of soldier and commander works out, and I definitely can’t foresee it being a common addition to future RTS games. All in all, [i]BW[/i] is a decent gaming experience that tries some new things, and for that I can’t fault it. We always get upset that certain studios do nothing but churn out sequels with the same bland gameplay. Well, [i]BW[/i] is a departure from the norm. While I don’t think it quite worked out, I’m at least pleased that an effort was made to distinguish this title from everything else out there.

Is E3 worth it?

October 28, 2005

The guys over at [url=http://articles.gaminghorizon.com/media/1128389760.60.html]Gaming Horizon[/url] posted a not so nice rundown of how they feel about E3 and it must have hit a chord with someone at [url=http://nintendo.about.com/od/e32005coverage/a/defendinge3.htm]About.com[/url] because they have their own column addressing issues about the event and directly responding to the guys at GH.

Being that I have never had the pleasure of attending E3 I want to see what you guys think about the event. Is it getting overcrowded? Has the focus shifted too far off the games and more onto the booth babes and swag?

Frapper Update

October 28, 2005

The [url=http://www.frappr.com/snackbargames]SBG Frapper[/url] has about 22 people added to it now and I think they are done moving it around. Not a bad start, but I know there are tons of you out there that haven’t added yourselves. If you are worried that someone is going to come hunt you don’t, don’t be. The public only sees city info and it is based on zip code so don’t think you are publishing personal info on the internet.

We are recording the next set of podcasts tonight and we have only gotten 1 email with feedback and show ideas so make sure you get those in to [email protected] or [email protected]