Critical strike to the bank account.
I generally like to plan out my gaming purchases months in advance. One of the benefits of being a ravenous, gamer-media-mastication machine is that release dates don't often take me by surprise, but with today's announcement for Uncharted 2, shit just got real.
September features the releases of the sure-to-be-awesome Muramasa: The Demon Blade on the Wii, and I feel more than a little tempted to check out IO Interactive's New Game That's Still Not Hitman 5, Little Ninjas. October, on the other hand, is a perfect little storm of western RPGs, niche titles, ambitious creativity and guaranteed million-sellers. Last year was no slouch with Dead Space, Fallout 3, the PS3 port of Bioshock and the stumbling launch of LittleBigPlanet all landing prior to Halloween, but this year boasts an equally drool-worthy quantity of quality.
Let's get chronological.
Alpha Protocol - eventual rental.
The crew at Obsidian Games is perhaps best-known for Knights of the Old Republic II, but perhaps more impressive is that this is the studio behind Fallout 1 and 2. If you also consider that this is the crew Bethesda has entrusted the upcoming Fallout: Vegas to, Obsidian has a great deal of gamer cred indeed.
In terms of graphics, in terms of art design, I can't say I've seen anything to thoroughly knock my socks off with Alpha Protocol, but the NPC interactions and open-ended mission structure look excellent. I will definitely play this game, but unfortunately there will simply be no room on my calendar, because it drops the same day as...
Demon's Souls - preorder purchase.
If you don't know about Demon's Souls yet, do some digging. The truncated version is that Demon's Souls is the spiritual sequel to the King's Field series. The game is essentially an action-RPG dungeon crawler, with absolutely brutal difficulty, minimal story and (what appears to be) visceral combat.
It's made by From Software, so consider it the Japanese take on a western-style RPG. It's also localized by Atlus, so at the very least you can be assured it will be a polarizing, niche title that some gamers exalt while others loathe. Personally, I expect it to be outstanding.
Brütal Legend - guaranteed purchase.
I was a little standoffish with Schafer's latest opus, particularly when I got wind that Jack Black was involved. A few funny, well-animated trailers reminded me that hey, it's still a Tim Schafer game - which means it will put most games to shame, creatively- and a recent video walkthrough has convinced me that I'll have a blast with it.
I refuse to simply rent what will, no doubt, be considered a classic in a few years - but there will be so much on my Gamer Plate I don't know when I'll be able to play it, and I don't purchase games merely as a collector. So why not hold off for a month or six, and buy it when it's thirty bucks?
Because I hate that shit, and Double Fine deserves my money. If not for this unproven adventure, then for the copy of Psychonauts I foully purchased from a pawn shop.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - preorder purchase.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you anything about Uncharted. If I do, and you're a PS3 owner, let me merely suggest you flee from your computer to the nearest video game distribution outlet, find yourself a copy of Drake's Fortune and dig on that.
'Cause this will be one of the best games of the year.
Way of the Samurai 3 - preorder purchase.
The hardest part about October 13th will be deciding which to play first - who am I kidding, I'll be playing Uncharted first - but I've waited far too long for WotS 3 to get a localization, so this won't be in its plastic wrap for long.
Sub-par technology and graphics? Check. Mostly-authentic swordplay? Check. Excellent art direction and gorgeous period music? Check check. The ultimate open-ended storyline? Can't wait.
Dragon Age: Origins - eventual rental.
I'll admit, I'm not exactly a tome of knowledge when it comes to Dragon Age, but I do know that it features lots of blood, and it's BioWare's first foray onto the Playstation 3. Admittedly, BioWare has been the lone thorn in my Sony Side over the years. Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect look great, but I can't say I'm ravenous to play them. Jade Empire, on the other hand? That one stings.
These guys are as respected as an RPG developer can get in the western world - even if I'm not intimately familiar with their work, Dragon Age deserves a nice long look.
So let's do some math. If my Canadian pricing is accurate, that's $70 for Demon's Souls, Brütal Legend and Uncharted 2, $60 for Way of the Samurai 3 and ten bucks each for the RPG rentals. Calculator, calculator... with 12% sales tax, that's three hundred and twenty-four dollars and eighty cents. That's rent.
Which is why I plan these things two months in advance. Ugh, I don't even want to think about November and December.
...which will be awesome.