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Ben’s Week In Review: January 14

Well, it's the editorial weekly update making its return, and here are my thoughts and updates for the past seven days:

Co-Op Fun

My roommate and I have played through several great games over the past year, and our most recent titles are Resistance: Fall of Man , Champions of Norrath , Twisted Metal: Black , Halo 2 , Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II , and TimeSplitters 2 . As soon as I can get around to playing Gears of War and Splinter Cell: Double Agent , we'll tackle those as well. Co-op story mode is something just about all games should have, as far as I'm concerned; the one in Resistance made that game ultra-intense and just plain awesome (as if it weren't awesome already).

I'd like to see this feature in many next-gen titles, as it was curiously left out of most titles last generation. Yeah, you have to deal with the split-screen, but that's okay. The addition of another player can really enhance the experience, and as much as I love my single-player play-throughs, co-op is a great option to have. I don't much go in for online multiplayer just because I don't like the lack of any story or direction, but that's fun as well.

NPD Numbers

As incomplete as they may be, they're looking awfully good right now. Everybody seems to be doing quite well, and that includes both Nintendo and Sony (even Microsoft managed to sell 100k 360s in Japan; the highest number ever since that system's launch). GameStop/EB had a fantastic increase of 29% in total sales during the holiday season, companies like THQ are expecting to do better than initially anticipated, and that European PS3 launch in March is looking more stable than ever. And the UK had a hell of a Christmas season, in general, didn't they?

On the software front, it's no surprise that the latest Madden installment ruled the sales charts, but it's also good to see so many great games get the recognition they deserve. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Gears of War did extremely well, for example, and even Resistance: Fall of Man managed to sell quite a few copies, despite the crazy PS3 shortage in December. I wish I could get into Guitar Hero II (speaking of fun co-op games), but I A. don't have the time, and B. don't really have the motivation. I enjoy rhythm/dance/music games plenty – still have to pick up Amplitude – but I just don't think Hero is my thing…

Final Fantasy XII Update

The title that takes up most of my game time is truly wonderful, but after nearly 60 hours of playing, I do have my complaints. I very much dislike both the Espers and Quickenings, but then again, I don't have the most powerful of either. They just don't seem that effective, especially for what they require in terms of MP, but I suppose that's Square-Enix compensating for the overpowered summons of past installments. Even so, it's frustrating. I also don't love the story as much as I probably should, but that might be because I'm so caught up in the gameplay. 😉

I'll be playing it until everything is completed, of course, and I fully expect that to take over 100 hours. Now you see my predicament…what with all the games I have yet to play, just sitting there, begging to receive my attention. Among that pile is Okami , but please don't crucify me.


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