The other night, I rented Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
and I must say it ended up a lot more fun than I had imagined it would be. My goal at Blockbuster was to rent a racing game, as I hadn't played a great racing game in a while. Now, Forza 2 was top of my list since I hadn't played it yet and the prospect of creating my own decals with any file I could find on our wonderful interweb was one I had hoped to indulge in ASAP. Sadly, it was all rented out and my next choice was PGR 4 and that was all rented out as well...
My mind settled on the fact that I wasn't going to get a decent racing game so I picked up the empty white box for Stuntman: Ignition
and proceeded to the counter, figuring I could at least be in
a car, though for a more goal oriented vehicular escapade. What I love most about Blockbuster is how much smarter the employees there seem to make me feel. The young man behind the counter, after searching for the disc for about five minutes, returns to tell me that not only do they not have the game, but that it does not even exist on the XBOX 360. Yeah...
So, feeling omnipotent in this young fool's presence, with a chuckle, I proceed back to the XBOX 360 game selections and tell myself that Juiced 2
could end up at least a decent game and worst case I'd blog about how much it sucked and have everyone agree with me.
But alas, I arrived home, popped it in and had a helluva time. Drifting in games that are meant to drift in are definitely more fun for a racer who likes to drift, than say the PGR series or the Forza series (though, as I stated, I have yet to play the second one). The drifting in the game is pretty decently done with plenty of room for error and correction, making it easier for those who are playing a drift game for the first time. For the seasoned drifter, however, there are challenges that I can honestly say I would not want to put the time in to do. Drifting damn near a whole winding track without, um, un-drifting (or some shit) is frustratingly challenging. Luckily you don't have to complete every challenge to move up in the ladder.
The car selection is good, even allowing me to live out my Starsky and Hutch fantasy of driving a Gran Torino around corners like I'm chasing the man that shot Huggybear. You have your large selection of various Asian vehicles and an acceptable amount of Domestic and European cars to choose from. Customization is pretty damn well done allowing for many changes to make an extremely unique vehicle. I like to put Lambo
doors on every car I can (addictively) and every car I make has the Devil or a skull on it. The one complaint in this dept. is an overly babysitting spellchecker for your license plate. Words like Satan and Devil should be acceptable. Evil wouldn't even work and this was in the single player mode!
Which brings me to Multiplayer. Multiplayer is like singleplayer, with seperated garages and the additions you'd expect from multiplayer adding the option to sell cars online. I focused more on singleplayer though, as I generally spent more time customizing cars I had won in pinkslip races than actually racing them.
Overall, I had a very fun experience with J2 and I would urge any gamer that loves a good drift racing game to at least rent this bad boy. I give it an overall 8 out of 10 losing points for the nanny guarding my license plate and various other small issues such as confusing meters when placing bets on a race with a competing racer.
Another game I've just now had the chance to play is Viva Pinata. Never really considered it to be a game I'd want to play but I had some fun playing the game together with my fiance. It almost seems as if it should be an XBLA game, though there is a buttload of content, including downloadable content to go through.
We found the game alongside Prey for only $20 at Wal-Mart and I just can't resist a deal like that. While I'm sure my girl will play it more than I, I think it's a pretty fun game that a whole family could play together. I'm leaving out game details because I'm sure most of you have played it or know how it plays since it's been out long enough to become $20.
I'm a little slower to play games like this as I'm usually sure it'll be a waste of money, but I'll give it another 8 out of 10 losing points only because I cannot raise evil pinatas. I just like finding games my girl can play with me or without me, as she's not a hardcore gamer and I'd like to transform her into one. She even loves co-op with me on Halo 3!!! I've almost got her... MWAHAHAHA... Umm, yeah...