This week in this space I'll be talking about Monster Hunter Tri, Split/Second and a pair of indie games but first I want to give a list of things I miss when they're not around. My canadian friends, DtoidUK, fried shrimp and now Anthony Burch. I liked Anthony from the second I first heard a Rev Rant back in the RetroforceGO days, and my respect was only solidified when I sent him an email about one particular rant (I think it was about gay stereotypes in videogames) and he delivered an extremely bad taste response which was quickly apolgised for once he remembered the rant I was referring to. I wish beyond wishes that I could make it to the wedding (see first Topsauce post) but unfortunately I'll have to make do with getting drunk at home. Still booking it off work though.
So first let's look at the indie games I want to talk about, both from the Indie Games channel on the Xbox 360. Firstly there's NLL Lacrosse 2010. Following the excellent College Lacrosse 2010 I had high hopes for this officially licenced version. Hoo boy what a disappointment. Shooting is slow and unweildy compared to the lightning quick snaps of CL2010 and passing feels unresponsive and sticky as well. Try the demo, but if you don't like it try CL2010 (also soccer game Fitba by the same dev) as well before writing off the series. Secondly there's Ace Gals Tennis, something I just downloaded because I'll try any tennis game that wants my attention. Surprisingly it's really good, control is simply aiming and timing shots with the computer moving your avatar around the court (think Wii Tennis but without the danger) but that works, allowing for more thought to be put into shots. It's also really well presented with colourful menus and pretty good artwork. I recommend it for 80 points.
Now Split/Second, I've been cautious about this because I'm unsure how the game will hold up to repeated play after the Eurogamer Expo demo I played pretty much ran the same race every time. The AI has clearly gotten a lot better since then as powerplays launch left right and center meaning the route changes aren't guaranteed to happen every race. I've completed races now where no-one changes the route and that gives me a lot more confidence in the game. It doesn't hurt that the pure arcade car handling brings back memories of the glory days of Burnout (Burnout 3 to Burnout Dominator if you're wondering) which makes things a metric shitton of fun. It's going to be hard to decide between this and Blur now.
Finally Monster Hunter Tri and I'll keep this brief. If you haven't played a Monster Hunter game yet, this is where to start. It's a lot easier to get to grips with than previous games and stupidly addictive. It's also damn good looking.