MMORPG Info Logo Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Dead Space 2, Kill Zone 3, Little Big Planet 2, Deathsmiles, Bulletstorm, Dragon Age 2,

In 2010, Wukung reviewed 44 games in order to give us a inside look at the best games being released. Now after a short break, he’s back and storming in with a great selection of games to kick off 2011 releases.

After a hiatus caused in a large part by an addiction to Castlevania: Harmony of Despair eating all my gaming time I finally managed to kick the habit and dent my “in pile”.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (DS)

Story driven puzzle action from the creator of the Ace Attorney series. You play as a ghost and try to uncover the mysteries surrounding your death by helping others avoid their own tragic fate. The gameplay is unique and works well though the puzzles lack some variety with only minor twists to the core mechanics appearing late in the game. Much like Ace Attorney the story is incredibly silly but entertaining. Ghost Trick is a remarkably original and enjoyable game.


Dead Space 2 (PS3 (played), Xbox 360, PC)

Dead Space 2 shakes up the format from the previous game with much more varied environments and talkative protagonist. The difficulty has also been taken up a notch. Though the sparseness of ammo is more likely to induce frustration than fear. Multiplayer and an unlocked hard mode with no checkpoints and limited saves add to life span of the game. Challenging, but for the most part fair Dead Space 2 is a well crafted slice of horror/shooter action.


Note: The PS3 version comes bundled with an upscaled version of Dead Space: Extraction, the previously Wii exclusive on rails shooter. Extraction is a fun game in its own right though the visuals aren’t on par with what you would expect from a PS3 title. It’s a great extra and also available seperately on PSN

Kill Zone 3 (PS3)

Technically impressive first person military shooter in a sci-fi vein. Kill Zone 3 follows the now well established format of short(ish) story campaign and online focus. The story is bad and the execution of the story is dreadful with exception of the sections which follow the evil Helgast (carried by voices provided by Malcom Mcdowel and Ray Winston). The action is pretty good but shooting feels a little off and the liberal helping of vehicle sections are weak. The sound track and sound design is excellent, sadly that is probably the game’s most exceptional feature. While a fairly solid game Kill Zone 3 isn’t as strong as some of its competitors in a very crowded genre.


Little Big Planet 2 (PS3)

Little Big Planet 2 feels primarily like a feature upgrade on its predecessor. The pre-packed levels are fun but gameplay remains a little simplistic and bare to stand up on its own. There is a wealth of user generated content, thanks in part to backwards comparability with the original. User content is usually more entertaining for the impressive creativity than fun level design or reliability. Those dedicated enough to create their own content will get the most out Little Big Planet 2 and it’s improvements. Even so LBP2 is a fun if simplistic game out the box.


Deathsmiles (Xbox 360)

Uniquely Japanese side scrolling 2D shooter featuring girls flying around shooting magic. While there isn’t much more here than many XBL Arcade games, Deathsmiles is a great dose of arcade bullet hell action, well packed with extras at a budget price.


Bulletstorm (Xbox 360 (tested), PS3, PC)

An over the top first person shooter action that doesn’t take itself to seriously. Bulletstorm has some neat gimmicks which make rushing forward into fights more viable and rewarding than most shooters. The handling of the shooting is responsive but the more conventional weapons are underwhelming and are outshone by the weirder ones. The last stretch of the game is blighted with a couple of abrupt difficulty hikes and there is an extremely annoying sniper mechanic. At its best, Bulletstorm is fast paced and incredibly fun, despite some minor issues it’s well executed tilt on FPS is worth a look.


Dragon Age 2 (Xbox 360 (tested), PS3, PC)

Dragon Age 2 is a mixed bag of improvements and backward steps compared to Dragon Age: Origins. While the gameplay is improved, changes to character growth remove depth. Dragon Age 2 has a limited location with most of the action being set in and around one city. The story lacks the clear direction and flow of the first game. The overall quality of the graphics is improved with sharper textures and a more distinct visual style but lighting seems more flat.

Dragon Age 2 is leaner game, with vastly superior presentation to it’s predecessor yet fails to carry forward much of what Origins did well. Fundamentally, Dragon Age 2 is a decent and very competently made RPG. It’s hard not to feel it should have been better though, for now Bioware seem to be reserving their A-game for the Mass Effect series.

Note: Currently the game has some crippling and potential game ending bugs on all systems. Apparently a patch is due soon.


I also spent some time on Marvel vs. Capcom 3 but I haven’t enjoyed it enough to justify the play time for a fair review. In the way of a mini mini-review I’ll say this: It’s a lot like Marvel vs. Capcom 2 with prettier graphics and a more up to date fan favourite roster. Unfortunately, like Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the mechanics are complicated which make it a tough game to pick up.

I’ve still got a fairly hefty in pile of games to play through including Crysis 2 and Yakuza 4 so hopefully there won’t be as much of a delay to the next round up.


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