Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guest post: Jaye Sonia, on Games, Games...

I'd like to thank my friend, Jaye Sonia, the creator of Rhune (go check it out if you're into RPGs) who has graciously offered "reprints" of content he's written for Bazaar magazine. I'll be posting one a week for a few weeks running, just to keep y'all out of mischief. This week, to take a different tack from "just" fiction, it's games. Thank you, Jaye, and over to you...

Games, games, and more games: Your fall review way too early….

This month, I’m talking about console games. If you haven’t been checking the upcoming releases for 2011-2012, let me be the first to say it; “So much awesome…” There are some pretty incredible games headed our way – and not just for adult gamers, either.

First up, something awesome for kids (and I suppose, their parents and caretakers, too) that involves one of the world’s biggest (and best established) franchises revolving around a mouse. Want a hint? It starts with a D and ends with an isney.

But first, let’s talk about Microsoft’s Kinect (released last November). If you’re not aware, Kinect is available for the Xbox 360 (with some hacks for the PS3 floating around on the Internet) and is getting all sorts of wonderful reviews. Much like the Wii did, it’s taking young gamers away from the stereotypical lounging to getting up, mobile, and active about their games. Not surprisingly, most of the games for Kinect have been sports related (tennis, bowling, dance, ect).

Now, however, things are starting to expand. The technology is better established and people like Disney are jumping into the ring. So parents, be prepared for a winter of excitement. Why? Disneyland Adventures, that’s why. Slated for release sometimes at the end of this year, this game is going to mesh everything that’s cool about Kinect with everything iconic about Disney (including customizable avatars).

Of course, there’s also something exciting coming for all of you FPS (first person shooter) enthusiasts, too. So, put down your Black Ops game and get ready for Call of Duty: Modern Combat 3 (WW3), which releases November 8th, this year. Contrary to what The Onion predicted last year, this game actually looks amazing. The storyline of the Russian invasion of America continues, with players traveling the globe in a series of missions aimed at opposing their offensive. Some of the planned areas for combat include England, France, Germany, Somalia, and even Dubai (how cool is that, eh?). Needless to say, if you’re a CoD fan, this game – the 8th of its type – should make this winter an exciting time.

(And if you’re like some of my co-workers, keep you pretty darn busy on Thursday nights! Go Blue Team, Go!!)

Of course, there are more than just mice and machine guns on the horizon, too. If you’re a Nintendo fan, you’ve got a classic returning very soon. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is slated for release late this year and looks promising (even if bloggers are attacking Link’s overtly feminine physique). Like many Wii games, this will require gamers to get out of their seats and direct Link’s actions by swinging the Wii controller around, something trendsetter Wii has long championed. He’ll use his sword to do a lot of hacking and slashing, but that’s not all. From what I’ve read online, he’ll even open doors with it. The game has a 3D look to it, but more of a cartoonish perspective.

Along those lines, look forward to, Fable: The Journey (again for the Xbox 360). While it’s aimed for older kids in their 30s, rumors abound that young teens might just enjoy this game, as well. It’s slated for release sometime in 2012, likely in the early summer. I saw the trailer (available online) and was pleased to see that a number of the gestures access various powers and abilities, while still maintaining basic features. So, you can launch fireballs at enemies and cut them down when they rush you. Even if it is a styled after a FPS, this is still very, very cool (and we need plenty of cool for these hot Kuwaiti summers).

Another classic to return this fall is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, Xbox 360, and PS3). While I’ve never been a big fan of this intense RPG (role-playing game), it’s still one of the giants in the playground. It’s scheduled for release on November 11th, 2011 and offers gamers a chance to visit Skyrim, home of the Nords. The game’s storyline revolves around the return of dragons (lots of them) and those that would oppose them, namely, the dragon born. This is another title that promises endless high-fantasy action that should carry gamers happily into 2012.

(Don’t believe me? Have a look at some of the trailers online. The graphics are more than pretty…)

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (PS3) this November. I’m not a big PS3 guy (I’m in Microsoft’s corner with the Xbox, sorry guys), so I haven’t played any of the previous versions of this saga. I have to admit, though, that I wish I had. This game looks pretty amazing and I’m instantly reminded of Indiana Jones when I look at the previews. This, of course, might just be because the game is about an adventuring archeologist (aptly named Drake) that is exploring the Arabian Peninsula in search of the “Atlantis of the Sands.” He doesn’t stop off in Kuwait, but I’m told his adventures are legendary nonetheless. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception releases on November 11th, 2011 (is everyone capitalizing on this 11-11-11 thing or what?).

So, if you haven’t done it yet, get online – yes, right this minute – and start looking at some trailers. But be warned. There’s a lot of awesome on the horizon!

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