So here we are another long week has past and it’s finally Friday. That will be week three of 8-bit Fridays in a row, so lets get to it

This Weekends Buys:
WarTech (Xbox 360) Some have called this one another obscure gem, so I’m waiting to experience it myself. Its robot combat, and a SHMUP all rolled into one, and it’s also an import of some kind. 

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Xbox 360) – Yes, El Shaddai does mean God in Hebrew, so it’s an oddly titled game but a noted obscure title on the 360. Should be worth digging into.

This Weekends Plays: 
I know I’ve been hitting the Xbox 360 pretty hard lately so we will start with the PSP this week

Ace Combat X (PSP) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I’ll just get what I didn’t like out of the way to begin with. First the voice talent was kind of bad, and just had moments when it sounded really amateur like people reading from a script they had never seen before. Second in higher altitude air-to-air combat scenarios, control was stiff as board in play especially in the first mission. Now, as for the good stuff, the second mission made me feel better about this as an Ace Combat game, like it was what it was supposed to be. Also, Ace Combat is known for its cut scenes that really draw you into the story, and this game managed to do that although you have to wait till after the first mission to get there. The rest is all Ace Combat goodness, and graphically, and with music and sounds its a top notch game. 

Control wise, it’s not bad either and it’s fairly intuitive even if you’ve never played an Ace Combat game before. Of course as I said it’s fairly intuitive, which means there is a slight learning curve, but it doesn’t take long to master and you can pretty much nail all of it before the end of the first mission.  With all that said the two drawbacks I started with are pretty big ones, and so sadly I’m only at four stars on this one.

Ace Combat: Joint Assault (PSP) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Ok, perhaps too much Ace Combat? What can I say I love this series of games and I’ve been working hard on a series to write about the franchise over a number of years now. Perhaps with the final PSP part of the puzzle in my hands, literally, I can finally complete that article. Anyway, Joint Assault is probably one of the more unique titles in the franchise I’ve played. It also seemed to hammer out what few issues I felt X had.

Now, most of the games in the Ace Combat franchise takes place on an alternative Earth where things generally seem familiar, especially the aircraft, but the nations and continents are different. Joint Assault is distinct in that it actually takes place on our own Earth, although with many fictional elements. 

In case you can’t tell already, I really like the game, and the four year difference between Joint Assault and X did make a huge difference. Graphically it’s a better quality game, but again it’s a four year difference. Sound effects, voice acting, and cut scenes are also very greatly improved. The control scheme on the other hand is the exact same, which did make it easy in moving from one game to another. Overall, this one is a full five stars.

MACH: Modified Air Combat Heroes (PSP) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – After two Ace Combat games anything else aviation themed on a console just seems to fail in comparison. MACH on the other hand is a nice change up, in that it’s just kind of a fun air racing gams with no real seriousness behind it. As a matter of fact it’s a great Friday night game since it’s fairly simple and fun waste of time. It reminds me of the old jetski racing game, Splashdown, that my wife and I use to play in our college days on Friday nights. It’s also interesting that this game is by Sierra, as in the same Sierra that made many a great PC game in the late 80’s and into the 90’s. 

Graphically it’s a really nice looking game, and the graphics lend the the fun nature of the game, although the race tracks are pretty formulaic to what you see in other generic racing games. Control wise it’s pretty intuitive on the analog control, but a lot of the other actions will require a quick review of the manual.  Overall, its a fun game that’s a nice addition to my collection.

And now for a little move away from the Xbox 360 and PSP

A Boy and His Blob (Wii) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- First of all I’m going to say that this is one of the best looking and beautifully well done games I’ve ever seen. The animation is beyond top notch, and plays smoothly while conveying the innocent and wondrous world A Boy and His Blob occurs in. Gameplay is super easy to figure out, and even with the normal Wii controller and nunchuck doesn’t feel off putting. 

Essentially this is a reboot of the original NES version of A Boy and His Blob: Trouble in Blobolonia. I know reboots tend to have negative connotations, but this game is a rare exception, and was able to really take the original game concept and improve it without detracting from it. As may critics and gamer’s it actually added so much more to the original games premise. When released the game was praised for its excellent, easy to use and intuitive control system, and for the added warmth and heartfelt emotion developers brought to the reboot. 

By all means this is an excellent game for children and families, as well as fans of the original NES version. I might add that this was another Video Game Summit buy, I picked up for my youngest son at his own urging. I’m really glad I did. 

So as usual my weekend got cut a little short and 2AM Saturday caught up with me pretty quickly. So these four games are all I got to this weekend since I enjoyed the Ace Combat games a bit too much. So see you next weekend.

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