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Summer Sweep: Last Fall's Best Games You Probably Missed

G4Sterling
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Posted July 16, 2010 - By G4Sterling









  • News
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  • Review
  • Videos
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  • News
    (1)
  • Previews
  • Review
  • Videos
    (2)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs




  • News
  • Previews
  • Review

  • News
  • Previews
  • Review



  • News
  • Previews
  • Review

  • News
  • Previews
  • Review










It's the middle of July. You're probably eyeing the upcoming Summer of Arcade games, thinking about upgrading to PlayStation Plus, or trying to decide what else is worth picking up on the cheap. Loot Whore covers a certain amount of the price-digging for you, but I wanted to ask folks around the office to recommend at least one game from last fall's release rush that was criminally neglected by the gaming masses in favor of blockbuster titles. The criteria are simple: when the game hit stores, what you probably bought instead, what we said then, why we still love it, and which major online retailer has the best deal on a new copy. Without further ado, here's some diamonds in the rough that are worth taking another look at.


DJ Hero First Look

DJ Hero

Release Date:
October 27, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Uncharted 2, GTA: Episodes from Liberty City, Demon’s Souls, Borderlands, Halo 3: ODST

What We Said Then:
DJ Hero is a gamble that was worth taking and further proof that Konami's bungling of the Americanization of its own music games (in this case, Beatmania) remains one of the biggest missteps in modern gaming. DJ Hero is a good game, one that will undoubtedly find a hardcore audience that appreciates it, flaws and all, and an interesting step forward for music games.”

What We Say Now:
Sterling: I still enjoy poking around with DJ Hero every once in a while. It’s certainly not a perfect game -- that hardware issue with the crossfader is a sticking point -- it’s still good, and with DJ Hero 2 on the horizon, it might behoove you to pick up a copy now while the fire sale clearance is going on. I’ll never forget hitting a perfect on “Fix Up, Look Sharp vs. Genesis,” or playing “Feel Good Inc. vs. Atomic.”  For someone who got tired of mash-ups some time around 2004, DJ Hero impressed me with its take on the genre -- music games and mash-ups, that is.

What's The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:
$46.29 for game bundle, Buy.com

Activision Lawsuit Will Not Delay Brutal Legend's Release

Brütal Legend

Release Date:
October 13, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Uncharted 2, Borderlands, Demon’s Souls, Halo 3: ODST
 
What We Said Then:
Brütal Legend, developer Double Fine's heavy-metal opus, transports players into its mytho-rock-ical universe with screaming, fiery abandon. Seriously, if you ever wanted to know what it would be like to live inside heavy-metal album covers, creative director/designer Tim Schafer's vision is as close as you'll ever get. It's got its issues, but overall, Brütal Legend is a hell of a lot of fun.”

What We Say Now:
Abbie: Much like Psychonauts, Brütal Legend is one of those games I’ll end up replaying every couple of years. The story-telling and fantastic Frank Frazetta inspired setting keeps calling me back. I’d originally anticipated the multiplayer to keep me interested, but the balance never quite felt right and instead I’ve been spending my post-completion play sessions using the Oculus of the Lost to find everything I missed the first time around. Brütal Legend may be lacking in some departments but it makes up for that in humor, creativity and originality. If you are a fanatic or even just have a passing interest in heavy-metal or rock and roll, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not playing this game.  

What's The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:

$19.99, Gamestop

IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey

IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey

Release Date:
September 8, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dirt 2, The Beatles: Rock Band, Guitar Hero 5
 
What We Said Then:
IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey takes what many would call a dead genre and brings it to next-gen life in an unparalleled way. It takes its chosen subject and nails every aspect of it with exceptional attention to detail and a clear love for the warbirds of yesteryear. This is, quite simply, the best flight combat game we've ever played on a console. If you have any yearning for the wild blue yonder, you must play it.”

What We Say Now:
Kevin: Maybe I’m a masochist, or because I love period-specific damage modeling, but there is something truly satisfying about hammering your P-51 Mustang into a tight turn over Berlin and being able to see the ground below through the ragged holes that have been blown through your wings by enemy ordnance. The game has been a mainstay on PC systems for a long time, but the console version finally brings realistic flight simulation into your living rooms in a big way. Play through some of the major air battles during WWII including the Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Berlin, Sicily, Korsun and the Battle of the Bulge in and you can nearly smell the sweat and oil.

What's The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:
$28.99, Buy.com

‘Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles’ Impressions

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles

Release Date:
November 17, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Assassin’s Creed II, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
 
What We Said Then:
“Let's just get this out of the way right up front: fans of the Resident Evil series who have spent anxious hours guiding Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield through Raccoon City and beyond will find lots to love about The Darkside Chronicles. If you have a Wii and an insatiable desire to splatter zombie brains like paint on a Jackson Pollock, this game should be on your wish list without question. Its only flaws are the limits of its genre and the hardware, and even then, it's still the best game of its kind ever made.”

What We Say Now:
Sterling: 2009 was the year that several Wii games aimed outside of families came in with a loud bang of hype, and went out with a whimper. Of all of those titles, I had the biggest blast playing The Darkside Chronicles. I wasn’t a huge fan of The Umbrella Chronicles when it dropped in 2007, but the update hit on so many of my RE buttons: it took my favorite pre-RE4 game (Resident Evil 2) and remixed so much of that familiar plot and threw in co-op that even my shooter-hating wife would play with me. It’s a pity that so few gave it a try.

What's The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:
$37.96, Walmart

Forza 3

Forza Motorsport 3

Release Date:
October 27, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Need for Speed Shift, Dirt 2, something else that made Forza 3 a modest hit rather than the GT-killer that Microsoft has gunned for all these years.

What We Said Then:
"If you are a car lover or sim fan, you owe it to yourself to go out and get Forza Motorsport 3. The entire package drips with polish and the physics-based gameplay is solid across all game modes. This title transcends a pure gaming experience to become something of a virtual driving tool. Forza 3 is a deep simulation experience and it’s the best racer available on any platform right now."

What We Say Now:
Matt Keil: Forza Motorsport 3 improves upon Forza 2 in almost every way. It doesn't redefine the genre, but it adds enough to be a solid upgrade for car lovers and simulation enthusiasts. New features like Rewind and Quick Upgrade help lower the barrier of entry for casual players and lower the frustration factor considerably. For expert racers, Forza 3 is an extremely detailed sim with enough personality and balance to keep your interest at least until Gran Turismo 5 finally makes it to shelves.

What's The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:
$37.03, Overstock.com

Dead Space Extraction

Dead Space Extraction

Release Date:
September 29, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Halo 3: ODST, Scribblenauts, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, Wii Sports Resort

What We Said Then:
"Dead Space: Extraction is a perfect example of what can happen when a developer approaches the Wii in the right way and maximizes the console’s capabilities to fit with the game’s style and design. Everything from the “shaky-cam” presentation to the brilliant remote implementation keeps you thoroughly engaged and immersed every second of the game. It’s quite an accomplishment, and one that will grab hold of you and not let go of you until the end credits roll."

What We Say Now:
Jake: While I’m super excited about Dead Space 2, one of the aspects of the game I’m most looking forward to is that the PlayStation 3 version comes bundled with Dead Space Extraction in HD. This means a whole mess of people who missed the game on the Wii will be able to experience one of 2009’s best and, sadly, most overlooked titles. Visceral Games did such a fantastic job of pushing the boundaries of what a typical on-rails shooter is with Extraction, and not only that (and I bring this up every time I talk about the game), it has one of the greatest motion-controlled moments ever. (Hint: are you a righty or a lefty?)

What’s The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:

$19.99, Best Buy

A Boy and his Blob for Wii

A Boy and His Blob

Release Date:
October 13, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Uncharted 2, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

What We Said Then:
"A Boy and his Blob is the kind of game the Nintendo Wii was designed for. It features simple-but-beautiful graphics, innovative gameplay and an emotionally compelling story that everyone in the family can enjoy."

What We Say Now:
Stephen: Every third party Wii game has to compete with Mario, Link and the rest of the Nintendo Mafia, so it's not surprising that this game wasn't all that widely played, but it's not too late -- it's pretty inexpensive now, and the game's gentle style and focus on friendship is the perfect antidote to typical video game kill-fest

What’s The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:
$17.92, Buy.com

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time

Release Date:
October 27, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Uncharted 2, Borderlands, Dragon Age: Origins, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

What We Said Then:
"Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time is a remarkable achievement that makes the case for the series’ longevity and determined adherence to form.  The game’s basics work so well and the improvements and changes are brought in to take advantage of one of the most solid gameplay foundations available.  Similar to the mathematical properties that find infinite potential in a finite space, Insomniac continues to mine the genre for more and more while always making the experience feel like your favorite well-worn pajamas on a lazy Saturday morning.  Once you throw them on, you know they’re not coming off all day"

What We Say Now:
Rob Manuel: Massive battles with incredible weapons? Check! Time bending puzzles? Check! The climatic ending to an epic adventure? Check! As you may already know, our love for the daring Lombax and his mechanical companion is without bounds, but this time Insomniac Games have really pulled out all the stops. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time features all the humor and action that made the series great as well as outer space battles, mini-planets to traverse, and enough hidden gold bolts to keep you busy until the next installment.
What’s The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:

$29.99 at KMart

Honorable Mention:
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars PSP ($24.98 at Amazon)

 

Summer Sweep: Last Fall's Best Games You Probably Missed
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