April 16th, 2009 By Ryan Fleming | News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Gamevania: Your Week in Video Games

When I first signed on as an intern at Willamette Week—or more specifically when I first drugged and stole the identity of the guy that signed on as an intern at Willamette Week—I did so for one very specific reason; to meet women. Unfortunately, the glamorous, jet setting lifestyle I was prepared for was a bit shy on jets, and a bit light on the glamor. The whole “unpaid” thing came as a bit of a shock too. But I was willing to follow my journalistic motivations. So after my proposed exposé on the back stages of every strip club in Portland was rejected for the 26th time, and criminal charges had veered away from a funny in joke to a very real possibility, I decided to try my hand at another old love of mine: video games.

With game prices showing no signs of lowering, and the recession not exactly being friendly to the common gamer, it is more important than ever to get the best bang for your buck. And so we present a list of games that are worth your hard earned money!

Value Game of the Week!
Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
riddick
Fanboys across the world can rejoice at the return of everyone's (well, someone's) favorite sociopathic antihero, Riddick, in Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. While this is not the long rumored continuation of the movies that continue to fire discussion across the internets, the game does add a new and original chapter for fans, as well as a solid first person shooter that mixes elements of stealth and action for everyone else. The story is about what you would expect: Riddick finds himself on a slaver ship, gets crossed by the captain of the ship (voiced by Michelle Forbes), and then terrorizes the entire ship. You take control of Riddick, voiced by Vin Diesel, and proceed to annihilate anyone foolish enough to look at you funny, or stand in the way, or just wander by when you are bored through a series of interesting and original ways. In addition to the full game, an online multiplayer option offers the standard deathmath options, as well as an interesting hunter/hunted type of game similar to Splinter Cell's spy-versus-guard games. All in all, a solid offering from publisher Atari and developer Tigon Studios, but the real value comes through the extras on the game.

Packaged with Assault is the Xbox original game Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay. Butcher Bay still holds the distinction of being one of the few movie licensed games that does not horribly suck; in fact it was actually one of the best games on Xbox that no one played. You play as Riddick in a prequel to Pitch Black, and through a mix of stealth and action, you help Riddick escape from a maximum security prison. Despite slow sales, the game quickly gained cult following. You now have the chance to play the full length game, reworked with new graphics and updated gameplay—basically they took the original game and made it shiny! Pair that with the full length Assault game, add in the multiplayer aspect, and for just $60 you get one of the best values out there.

Family Friendly Game of the Week You May Be Forced To Buy!
Hannah Montana The Game
hannah montana
Technically it is called Hannah Montana: The Movie Game, but if you have a thirteen-ish year-old daughter that plays video games, you probably have already had permanent hearing damage from the shrieks of excited joy when this game was announced. Honestly, Disney could probably take an old copy of the 8-bit Elevator Action and slap Miley Cyrus's face on the cover and sell a kabillion copies. This game is to the video game industry what, well, Hannah Montana's CDs are to the music industry, but it will attract the audience that it is geared towards, and offer a game the whole family can play.

DLC of the Week
Fallout 3: The Pitt
fallout the pitt
Fans of the RPG Fallout 3 can continue their obsession, with new downloadable content recently released online. Fallout 3: The Pitt, opens up the devastated, post-apocalyptic city of Pittsburgh with a new story line, quests, weapons, and enemies to fight. The Pitt, the second of three DLCs for Fallout 3 (with the third DLC, Broken Steel is due out later this Spring), allows you to explore the industrial city that managed to avoid the nuclear destruction, only to become a hub for slavers in the gritty and disturbingly dark look at a ruined Pittsburgh. Expect a huge number of downloads from Arizona. For roughly $10, you can tack on several hours to the already lengthy Fallout game. Add the first DLC, Operation: Anchorage, and you can easily lose 80+ hours or more and get rid of that pesky girlfriend or boyfriend for good.

Hot Coffee and News!
-Famed video-game puppy-kicker Jack Thompson, beloved by the industry for increasing sales of all violent video games by attempting to have them banned, was admonished by Utah State Senate President Michael Waddoups for harassment according to the Salt Lake Tribune. After a series of emails demanding that Waddoups help override a veto that would increase penalties for retailers that falsely label mature games. Waddoups is considering a complaint to the Utah Attorney General.

-According to gamespot.com, video rental giant Netflix is looking to expand its online video streaming service to multiple consoles. Debuting last year on Xbox Live, subscribers of both Netflix and XBL are able to stream a wide selection of videos directly to their consoles to watch. Mega hits such as “The Neverending Story” and “Saturn 3” could soon be seen on all major consoles.

-Ever been watching live coverage of CNN in Iraq and thought “this would be so much cooler if there were crosshairs on the screen?” Well, you might be in luck. In what promises to be one of the creepier games of the coming year, Fox News reports that Atomic Games hopes to release “Six Days in Fallujah,” an action shooter that will portray six days of the real life shootout in the Iraq stronghold.

-Gore Verbinski has picked the last petal and decided that he does love the movie adaptation of Bioshock after all. According to Firstshowing.net the Pirates of the Caribbean director has forsaken the fourth installment of the Pirates franchise in favor of the blockbuster first-person shooter. The game, set in 1960, focuses on an underwater city inspired by art deco designs and an Ayn Rand philosophy of capitalism that goes horribly wrong. Oh, and terrifying robot zombies with corkscrews for arms. Also those.

-Video game- and movie-rental giant Blockbuster Video is in danger of going out of business. The Associated Press reports that Blockbuster recently disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that they have serious doubts about their ability to stay in business. We will keep you posted about the potential tragically awesome fire sale.

-Activision, publisher of game franchises World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty has decided to sit out this recession in favor of making a ton of money. Gamespot reports that, despite the economic climate, Activision's first quarter numbers are above their original projections.
 
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