Games of the week: Several months too late edition

After months of goading from Sony fanboys, let it be known that Jim “apparently hates the PS3 because he thinks Sony did a poor job of handling it” Sterling owns his very own Black Box o’ Blu-ray. What this, of course, means is that I have now finally played and finished Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

This is an accomplishment, not only because this longtime MGS fan finally completed the saga, but because he did it completely spoiler-free. All this time, angry PS3 fans who hate me could have absolutely ruined my experience, but I am Spoiler Ninja. Oh, and of course, those very same people helped pay for my console. <3

That was my game of the week, but what has everyone else been playing? Hit the jump for more, then go read my interview with PEOWW. Just because I’m self-indulgent like that.

Grim: This week has been all about replaying my long-lost Game Boy Advance favorites (on my PSP): Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!, Yoshi’s Island, Wario Land 4, Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, Drill Dozer, Astro Boy: Omega Factor, and the list goes on. It’s been years since I have played any of these games, and I’m completely addicted.

Chad: I finally finished Fallout 3 with, sadly, a few quests unfulfilled. I must say that game was an absolute treat — I loved it so much.

Also started playing Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Again, another great game! It may not be as perfect as Symphony of the Night, but it is pretty stellar. I love how much it feels like all the recent Castlevania games with a hearty dose of retro Castlevania II thrown in for good measure. Awesome.

Merry Christmas, everyone! <3

DMV: Dynasty Warriors Gundam. Again and again and again. It never gets old.

Hamza: I played Resident Evil 5, Bionic Commando’s multiplayer and The Godfather II’s multiplayer this past week. All of my previews are now done for this year and I finally can catch up on all of the stuff I’ve been behind on.

Nick: After forgetting about how thrilled I was to receive the 114 announcement screenshots, I actually went out and bought Majesco’s Zoo Hospital for the Wii. It was $29.99 new, and exactly what I expected it to be — Trauma Center with animals. So far I’ve done check-ups and operated on 15 of the 40 animals. The sloth had some sort of infection, so I had to inject him with the antidote; one animal had some cavities, so I had to drill. The noises the animals make when on the operating table are so pathetic, you just want to help them. 

I also finally picked up World of Goo off of WiiWare, and this is the first time I’ve played what many people are calling their “game of the year.” Yeah, it’s pretty great, with a unique style and a really addictive, physics-based gameplay core. But is it me or are the Wii controls (particularly the picking and choosing of “goos”) super finicky to the point of frustration? 
 
I also played Prince of Persia on the 360 (PS3 version that I reviewed looks better, for those wondering), Fable II, some early code of Sacred 2 for the 360, and Dash of Destruction on XBLA (how are there some people that actually played this game for more than 10 minutes)?

Colette: It’s been a whole lot of Persona 4 for me, as predicted — playing it in 3- to 4-hour chunks has worked well for me and helped me stave off that frustration with grinding I mentioned last week. Of course, it hasn’t gotten really hard yet either, so check back here with me next week for whining about that. I also showed some friends Earth Defense Force last night (ah, that perennial classic) and messed around with Taiko No Tatsujin Portable for PSP. It’s SO much prettier than the DS version! *drool*

Chad: OMG, NICK, ZOO HOSPITAL IS OUT?! *runs to store* 😀

Colette: No shit. I want it too. The words “like Trauma Center” are enough to make me play anything.

Dale: Crazy as it sounds, I am playing the 2006 hit RPG Final Fantasy XII now. What a great (and sometimes difficult) game.

Colette: You care about the characters, Dale? I thought it was beautiful, but after 40 hours I found I still had made no connections to any of them.

Niero: I’ve been playing with my balls (released in 1978) all week. Very retro. Also, L4D, and Crazy Machines for the DS, which has the most punishing level progression possible.

Dyson: I’ve been playing the copy of Dead Space that our buddy over at EA got for me. So far — and I’m on Chapter 2 only — I love this game. It’s well-made and pretty fun. I can’t believe that it didn’t get nominated at the VGAs for something. Or did it?

I don’t remember because the VGAs are shit.

Chad: I’m with Dale: I LOVE FINAL FANTASY XII! It’s my favorite Final Fantasy since VI.

Also, apparently I am going to be commenting on everyone’s games this week. <3

Samit: In NHL 09, I completed Samit Sarkar’s rookie regular season. He finished with 99 points (85 goals — including 14 power play goals and 1 shorthanded goal — and 14 assists, and a +/- rating of +58)! Now my Rangers are taking on the eighth-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.

As for The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, a friend and I beat the game this past Tuesday, so look for the review to go up soon. Otherwise, I haven’t really been playing all that many games — though I did complete the BioShock demo (yes, I know I’m late), and now I really want the game.

You see, I’ve mostly been getting new games — this week, I got Prince of Persia on PS3 (a late birthday gift), and the following PSN titles: Bionic Commando Rearmed, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, PixelJunk Eden, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (I’ve never played any of the Castlevania games, so I want to see what all the fuss is about), and Mega Man 9. I haven’t played any of those games yet, but with winter break being here, I hope to get into all of them soon.

Conrad: I’m still plugging away at Persona 4. I like that I can run around in the dungeons to my heart’s content so far, and I spend a little time grinding each night until I pass out. I’m not sure yet if I’ll make it all the way through the game, but it’ll probably be February by the time I’m finished.

Gamefly sent me Tony Hawk’s Project 8. I gave up on Tony Hawk games around Tony Hawk’s Underground because I never cared much for having to hunt down my objectives in an open world. Still, it was pretty fun for the afternoon I played it before sending the disc back.

Finally, I have about five games of Dokapon Kingdom running at the same time with various combinations of people. This is the most awesome party game (which doesn’t involve plastic instruments) this year. God bless Atlus for bringing it over.

Jim: Bought Metal Gear Solid 4. Played Metal Gear Solid 4. Beat Metal Gear Solid 4. That is all.

Jim Sterling