Games | Weekly Game Releases | Blog | Week of April 8, 2008: Atlus owns the week.

List compiled by reibeatall and Sarcasmorator | Imports by parish, courtesy of NCS | Posted April 8, 2008

Game of the week

XBLA: Ikaruga
Microsoft/Treasure| Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade | Bullet Hell
What's this? A downloadable game is the game of the week? In the bizzaro land that is GameSpite (and in the midst of a pretty much craptacular week), this is true.

I once tried Ikaruga for the Gamecube. I had heard magnificent stories of its greatness. The forty dollar price tag was discouraging me from a purchase, but I managed to rent it. I think I beat the first level, maybe. I then watched this video and decided that I was not man enough to play this game.

Now, I've grown older, and my shooter skills have improved. I think it's time to play what many call "The omg hardest shooter evar." Plus, it's only 10 bucks, will look great on my HDTV, and it's got online co-op. So would somebody else please pick this up and help me?

Also appearing in stores

Atlus USA | Playstation 2/ Nintendo Wii | Real-time Roguelike
So, I'm not really sure what to make of this game. It's apparently a real-time roguelike [the term for that is "dungeon crawler" -- ed.], but it might not be very good. The combat is slow, the story comes at you in tiny chunks whenever you die, and the beginning simply throws you into the action without any explanation.

But it whiffs of roguelike, and I love them. Even though I'm as horrible at them as I am at Ikaruga.

Arcana Heart
Atlus USA | Playstation 2 | Fighting
I can't hear this title without thinking about Araucana chickens, also known as "Those crazy chickens that lay blue and green eggs."

But this isn't a game about chickens; it does, however, feature chicks. As in females, of the anime type. No male fighters at all -- what, is the title "Arcana Sausage Fest"? No, it is not. Pick a girl, summon an elemental arcana, and fight. Just like almost every other fighting game ever. But with more estrogen.

Downloadable Contentment: This Week in DLC

Wii VC: Bases Loaded
Nintendo| NES via Wii | Sports
Back in the day, sports games weren't licensed with real sports teams; instead, they had made-up team names. Like Omaha and Kansas. What stupid names. At least it's better than Urban Champion.

Wii VC: Yoshi's Cookie
Nintendo | NES via Wii | Puzzle
I only wish this game provided the players with the cookies they match. That'd be an amazing game. Maybe Nintendo could create a cross-promotion with the Easy Bake Oven company to produce a Wii-mote attachment that would cook tasty cookies when the system is on.


Big in Japan: This Week's imports

Battle of Sunrise
Sunrise Interactive | PS2 | Fighting or something
Taking a cue from the likes of Super Robot Wars, Battle of Sunrise is another game that dumps a random assortment of anime characters into a big pot, throws in some maybe-not-very-well-thought-out gameplay and hopes for big moneys. In this case, the anime characters apparently come from shows produced by, yes, Sunrise. Is it any good? I rather doubt it, but who knows.

Mario Kart Wii
Nintendo | Wii | Racing
I like that Nintendo is no longer even trying to pretend the Mario Kart series will ever change significantly. The title of the latest game seems to sum it up: It's Mario Kart, for Wii. Which means a crippled online component and forcing you to waggle like a moron in order to race effectively. And really, who doesn't want that?

Oshiri Kajiri Mushi no Rhythm Lesson DS
Sega | DS | Brain training?
The latest DS "training" game, this one seems to be about teaching rhythm. Best case scenario: It's totally Parappa The Rapper? or Elite Beat Agents? masquerading as an educational experience. Worst case scenario: It basically just teaches you to count to four.

Talk about how crappy these games are!