I’ve been playing my DS and Xbox 360 these days. DS RPG fans, I’d highly recommend The World Ends With You. It’s a cool twist on the RPG story set in modern day Japan, with a story that seems to slightly hint at the concepts in the cult movie Battle Royale (at least to me, anyway). The music is great, and utilizes the DS in some pretty impressive ways.

Otherwise, I’ve been spending time with the still-new 360. XBLA has put out some great titles of late. Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is a particularly notable action-RPG from the Penny Arcade guys. Honestly, it’s really nice to see a game made by people who are genuinely gamers, and not some demographics slapped together by some hotshot marketing team on what we’re supposed to like. It’s short, and more pricey than other XBLA titles, but it provides a fun experience. I’ll be curious to see if the Strong Bad game for WiiWare follows suit in terms of quality, but I have a feeling it will.

Roogoo is also another surprise. It’s a fun puzzler that is finally something that is not trying to be Tetris. It’s cutesy, and the idea of shoving shape blocks through holes can’t help but draw comparisons to the old children’s toy, but it gives you the thrill of performing the action that once fascinated you for hours on end minus the feeling of being patronized or you’re playing some “baby game”. It’s catchy, and I like it.

Finally, I’ve been cheerfully whiling away on LEGO Indiana Jones for the last week. I’ve enjoyed the other LEGO adventure games, and this one is no exception. Still the same formula, but refined with little character specific nuances, and it’s Indiana Jones. How can you go wrong (okay, a lot of Indy console games did, and the fourth movie was just alright, but still). Ninja Gaiden II will be next, I think.

The only thing on my mind (for another day) is casual games. I’ve been thinking about how so many game designers (like Nintendo) introduce basic concept/easy play titles that attempts to draw in new gamers, children, and even girl gamers, and then treats all of these groups as if they are the biggest morons on the planet that will buy anything (to Nintendo’s credit, they normally don’t dump out these garbage games). Third party companies seem to miss the point on why a game is popular with their sad-sack cloned attempts, and we’re getting more shovelware than ever. Another entry, I may introduce some good titles to consider for kids or even people new to this whole video game thing. Suggestions are always welcome.

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Filed under: ds gamingxbox 360 gaming