Michael Jackson: The Experience [Move/Kinect]
Michael Jackson: The Experience
Michael Jackson might no longer be with us, but as the success of Ubisoft's dance game based on the King of Pop's tunes and moves demonstrates, he's still got a few hits left in him.
Released back in November on Wii, DS, and PSP, Michael Jackson: The Experience has already sold over three million copies worldwide -- and seeing as this week it comes out on Sony's Playstation Move and Microsoft's Kinect, adding features like Facebook integration, video camera support, and karaoke, that's probably just the start.
Being a physically active sort of affair, you'd probably expect Jackson:
The Experience's gameplay to work pretty well on the new motion control systems
-- or, at least, as well as it did on the Wii, where critics scored it as high
as 80% (and, to be fair, as low as 20-30%, although the average was in the
50s). So far, those critics have been slow to chime in on the new versions: the
sole English-language write-up at the moment is from Game Informer, who gave the Kinect version a healthy 78%, called it "fun despite its shortcomings," and noted approvingly that it gives a more faithful representation of Jackson's on-stage routines than the Wii version did.
Should fans take the plunge? Critical reactions to last year's Jackson
game were mixed to poor, but millions of Jacko fans clearly loved it, in spite
of its perceived flaws. The prudent might want to hold out for a few more pro
critics to ring in, but if you're a fan you'll probably want to beat it down to
your local video game emporium, grab a copy, and get ready for a noisy weekend.
Patapon 3 [PSP]
Patapon 3 Pata-pata-pata-PON! Boasting more quirk and character than a Pixar movie, this PSP rhythm game series is among the platform's greatest assets. The third drops this week, continuing the adventures of the adorable two-dimensional cartoon creatures who march into battle accompanied by catchy music, and execute commands in accordance with
rhythms tapped out by the player.
It also sports an attractive $20 price tag and cool new multiplayer modes -- but
according to early reviews, it's a complex game that makes few concessions for novices. Pros will lap it up, in other words, but according to early reviews, it's a complex game that makes few concessions for novices. Hope you've got rhythm.
Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Dynasty [Yahoo! Games]
Discover the mysteries of an age-old, hitherto forgotten dynasty of Chinese emperors in
this brand-new hidden-object game. Boasting over 2,200 objects to find, it's
larger than the average hidden-object game -- and it even mixes in some
puzzle-based minigames between the hunts to keep the action varied. Although
the story's pure fiction, Forgotten Dynasty throws in plenty of factual trivia
from real-life history, meaning it might even teach you a thing or two about China's ancient
and fascinating history.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D[3DS]
Ubisoft's Splinter Cell is the latest franchise to take advantage of the extra dimension
of the just-released 3DS -- but it's not going down well with critics. In fact,
Sam Fisher's going to need all his stealthy talents to steer clear of
disappointed buyers, because with scores under
50%, it looks to be one of the worst received 3DS titles so far.
Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles [Yahoo! Games]
Based on one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's celebrated Sherlock Holmes novels, crime
fiction's second most famous canine comes to your PC this week. Can you figure
out why this spectral hound is, uh, hounding the Baskerville family? What
secrets does the bleak wilderness of Dartmoor
hold? Who knows? (Well, presumably anyone who's read the book, but don't let
that minor detail spoil your enjoyment.)
Yars' Revenge [XBLA]
A good thirty years after becoming the best-selling original game for the Atari 2600,
the classic Yars' Revenge flies back into action this week as a download for
the Xbox 360. It's a fair bit different this time out, however, featuring
on-rails shooting instead of the top-down action that shined so brightly back
in the day.
Bloodline of the Fallen: Anna's Sacrifice [Yahoo! Games]
It's a veritable murderfest on Yahoo! Games this week. Next up is this intricate,
intercontinental mystery, which follows Anna as she tries to find out the truth
behind her father's untimely death. A dark tale of secret cults, black magic,
and lots and lots of hidden objects ensues.
Chaotic PC multiplayer action-RPG Magicka already has a good story to tell: launched
back in January, it was riddled with bugs, to the chagrin of its 200,000-odd
early purchasers. A whirlwind round of patching ensued, and the now-working
game is graced with a new expansion this week. As to why creators Arrowhead
Game Studios decided to take the game's wizardly, spell-throwing action to the
jungles of 1970s Vietnam,
we have no idea, but they probably know what they're doing. Perhaps.