Release Chat : Week of 19/10/09

In which Stewart regales us with the latest goodies you can play, watch and love.

There’s a couple of significant exclusives on the major platforms this week, and I’ll start with EyePet on PS3. EyePet is, like Nintendogs or Creatures, difficult to really categorise as a ‘Game’. It certainly looks like a lot of fun, and there’s no doubt that the tech is very impressive, but like games of this genre before it, most won’t find the inclination to spend hours and hours with it. Definitely try and get a look at it if you can, it’s essential viewing from an academic and philosophical perspective. I had real trouble finding a screenshot of this which wasn’t terrifyingly creepy, and this is the best I could come up with. Oh well, I guess I can get away with it since Halloween is almost here!

There’s not a lot to say about Forza 3 on Xbox360, other than if you only ever buy one serious racing game, then this should be it. It’s pretty hard to fault the content on offer, the graphics, the realistic tuning and driving model… It does exactly what it says on the tin. For me though, the real draw of this series has always been the car customisation. I think I’ve spent more time painting cars than actually driving them. People with way too much time on their hands created some stunning paint jobs with the Forza 2 kit, and the fact that you can sell these cars on the in game auction house (only for in-game money, mind you), means you can effectively make a game out of buying, painting, then re-selling cars. Yes, it doubles up as ‘Sim spray-shop’, or ‘Classic-Car-Restorer Tycoon’.

Borderlands is a team based post apocalyptic shooter with RPG elements. It has a great look, and is build with co-op play in mind. Best of all, It’s from GearBox, the guys behind the Brothers in Arms series, which are some of the finest team based strategy games available. The thought of them repeating this formula in a large open world, post apocalyptic setting is very exciting. Oh, and the first expansion is due to be called The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, a great title which will be especially amusing to our Scottish readership.

Finally, out at cinemas this week, is ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox‘. It’s an adaptation of the Roald Dahl story directed by Wes Anderson (His first animated film). ‘The End’ is a visually striking, and beautifully told story, and apparently very believable despite the fairly primitive animation techniques used, which being from the Denki school of thought immediately makes me want to examine ‘The Way’. It’s when you look at ‘The Way’ that this really gets interesting. Rather than simply recording the voices in a studio like other animated movies, the actors were taken out to caves and fields to roll around in the hay, actually performing their character’s actions as well as delivering their lines. Anderson even acted out some of the scenes himself, and posted videos to the animation team so they had a jumping off point.


Stew (@chicknstu)