Welcome to another edition of the Countdown, where tidbits of gaming knowledge are handed out by the bucket. Spring break is around the corner and do you know what the means? It means that there will be plenty of people with free time on their hands. Kids, college students, and even some adults will now be on the road trying to get spring into their system. The best way out there may be to go on a camping trip, which means you will need to bring a portable gaming device. If that is not what you desire, you could also just stay at home play your consoles. Enough is enough though lets get on with the Countdown.
Shining Force EXA (PS2) - The world of Shining Force EXA has long been steeped in devastating wars and oppression. Two bitter nations wage constant war upon each other by summoning armies of beasts and demons. Now, decades later, neither side has gained any perceivable advantage over the other, while the world and its people lay ravaged and devastated by the ceaseless fighting. Well the first game was a little bit of a let down so hopefully the follow-up has solved a lot of the control issues.
Test Drive Unlimited (PS2 - PSP) - This version is attempting to do what the other Test Driving games have done on other consoles.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2 - PSP - Xbox 360 - DS) - Well if you have any interest in the movie, like I do, and you want to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, other than the re-released arcade game on Xbox live, you should probably pick this game up. At least it looks pretty.
UEFA Championships League 2006-2007 (PS2) - Do you like British football? Of course we are talking about soccer. There have been plenty of soccer/football games out recently so you may wish to overlook this game.
Godfather: Don's Edition (PS3) - With EA continuing to sprout their wings on rehashes now you can play the Godfather on the PS3. I suppose they are trying to milk the licence for all it is worth, but to be fair the game is pretty nice.
After Burner: Black Falcon (PSP) - This is another beautiful After Burner game and it should be quite entertaining. The series has generally done very well, and I expect another great outing with this game. The PSP has brought to life portable flying games quite nicely.
Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai Another Road (PSP) - Well you knew it was only a matter of time until another DBZ game would hit the shelves, though this one is more so in the style in the PS2 game. Budokai 3 was fairly nice, so if they keep on this path it should be entertaining. Of course many licensed games are fairly... questionable, the DBZ franchise gets better with every game.
Full Auto 2: Battlelines (PSP) - With a fairly decent outing on the PS3 it was decided, by the powers at be, to move it over to the PSP. The PS3 version was above your average game, and so if you have a PSP and love racing games, though do not own the PS3 version, please check it out.
Hot Wheels Ultimate Racing (PSP) - Of course this is a licensed game, but again Micro Machines also falls into that area. If you are a real nut when it comes to mini-racers you should be able to get some enjoyment out of it. Generally though I may suggest avoiding it.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of WarLords (PSP - DS) - Well the PSP certainly needs a few more puzzle games if it ever wants to catch up to the DS. I will be upfront in saying that I do not know too much this game, but people who love puzzle games are probably going to pick up any type of puzzle game that they can get their hands on. I am sure that the game will end up being decent at the very least, and if you need a break from Tetris or Brain Age, you might as well pick this game up.
Virtua Tennis 3 (PSP - PS3 - Xbox 360) - The Virtua series has always been close to my heart even when including the different genre game types. Be sure that you can expect a beautiful game on the next generation systems, and if you doubt me just look at Virtua Fighter 5.
Tetris Evolution (Xbox 360) - Another beautiful edition of Tetris. Perhaps the best feature is the reduced price though, so it should be worthwhile picking up. Plus you can play online just like in the DS version... Though you will need an Xbox Live account.
Armored Core 4 (Xbox 360 - PS3) - Do you like giant robots? Do you like to crush your opponents with an enormous hand? Here we have what the Gundam PS3 game should have been. If you are not into that you can always go back to Lost Planet or Chromehounds.
Earth Defence Force 2017 (Xbox 360) - A while back there was a Starship Troopers game released, which was a bit of a let down. In a similar style though of alien invaders you will attempt to fend them off in an arcade shooter. The game looks great, and you can blow up a lot of the surrounding environment, and that makes me want it even more. As such I am going to award this game the title of Game of the Week.
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII (Wii) - Another rehash of the Blazing Angels game. It was mediocre on the other systems, though flying the planes sideways with the Wiimote should be interesting.
Cooking Mama: Cook Off (Wii) - If you enjoyed the adventures on the DS, you should also enjoy them on the Wii... So long as you were able to get one. Here you create food on your television, which makes me wonder if Smell-o-vision will ever make its way to our homes. It was quite enjoyable, and it could be one of the better games on the Wii.
Kororinpa: Marble Mania (Wii) - Do you like marbles? Do you like to control them with the innovative Wiimote? Well perhaps the better question is did you like Super Monkey ball and want more? Perhaps you tried out other Marble games and want more. It should be good enough for those that love marble games.
Godfather: Blackhand Edition (Wii) - Care to try the Godfather version out on the Wii? Well it is an interesting game at that and includes solid voice acting.
Wing Island (Wii) - Perhaps the better of the two Wiii flying games released this week, here you will fly by flicking the Wiimote around. Of course flicking them repeatedly in one direction will cause it to do tricks. The game is also a game similar to Pilotwings, so it should be very enjoyable.
Custom Robo Arena (DS) - The Custom Robo game for the NGC was a smash hit, allowing people to tweak their goliaths and fight party style. Now you can do the same on your DS, so it should be pretty fun.
Major League Baseball 2K7 (DS) - Do you like baseball? Well... The DS generally does not do so well with baseball, or really any sports games. Perhaps look towards the PSP version if you need it on the go.
Steel Horizon (DS) - Steel Horizon combines turn-based strategy with intense real-time action, as players strategically position their fleets and engage in 3D combat. Build and command a powerful WWII naval fleet, comprised of battleships, submarines and aircraft carriers. If you are looking for a non-card based strategy game this week, you will need to look no further.
Theme Park (DS) - Would you like to create your own Theme Park? Well now you can! Hopefully it has learned from other simulation games on the DS to work with its abilities rather than against them. I would recommend renting this game before you buy.
Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007 (DS) - Who loves Yu-Gi-Oh games? Who likes playing them online? Well here you can have the best of that world if you like. I still have fond memories of their older games. I would probably recommend this game to those that has missed a few and want to get back into the game, or if you really want to play online.
There sure were plenty of games out this week, enough to bury the average gamer. This juxtaposes last week were we oddly enough only had five games. I wish that they would have split them up a bit, but I guess everyone was clamouring for the "New" spot on the top of the new release walls at stores going into the break. Anyways I hope this guide helps push you in the right direction. Also perhaps try checking out the new Mania podcast. Wrapping up, this is Captain Gordon signing off.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? CaptainGordonEdward@Gmail.com