Release Chat – 25 / 1 / 2010

In which 'wor Stu introduces the games and movies he thinks are toppermost of the poppermost (for the week commencing 25/01/10).

Mass Effect 2 has been hotly anticipated since the credits rolled on the 2007 original.  They’ve done all the usual sequel things – tweaking and improving everything that wasn’t quite right the first time round.  In particular, it seems the combat system (the weakest aspect of the first game) has had the most obvious rework.  The developer is also taking the concept of using your original character within the sequel, to brave new heights.  Not only will your statistics be transferred across to Mass Effect 2, but you’ll see the consequences of conversations and decisions you made in the original, resonating throughout the sequel too.

Information regarding the shape, gender and consistency of the species you will be able to snuggle up with in the sequel were unavailable at the time of writing.

MAG, which stands unashamedly for ‘Massive Action Game’, is exactly that. It’s a standard multiplayer FPS which uses some very clever jiggery-pokery to pitch battles between 256 players at a time.  Which is quite a step up from the 16 – 32 players we currently see as ‘standard’.

Exclusive to PS3, it’s a lofty and ambitious statement which I really hope pays off.

At the cinema this week, there are two notable new releases.  One is being panned by critics and the other is apparently very good.  I’ll leave you to fingure out which is which all on your own.  The Lovely Bones is Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel about a girl who watches her family deal with the aftermath of her murder.  Which, however you paint it, sounds unalterably bleak. 

The Princess and the Frog is the new Walt Disney animation.  The big deal here seems to be that it’s 2D.  What an age we live in, when the main selling point of a movie is that they’ve scaled back their animation style in favour of a classic hand-drawn approach!  It looks absolutely gorgeous in its own right, and aims to recapture the spirit of the ‘Disney of old’.  Will it succeed?  Find out on Friday.

-Stew (@chicknstu)