The Week In Games

Dragon Quest IX is a warm, snuggly blanket of a game. It may have been developed by RPG masters Level-5 - of Dark Cloud and Rogue Galaxy fame - but it feels like it was knitted by your grandmother. Kane & Lynch 2, on the other hand...

... is ugly. Hideously, violently, disgracefully ugly. It's foul-mouthed and bad-tempered, sordid and sleazy. It's the gaming equivalent of choking on your own vomit.

Dog Days is all style, but to my mind, there's no substance there. Except perhaps, substance abuse.

In the transition from PS2 - where the previous instalment in the series was found - to DS, Dragon Quest may have lost some of its style, but it makes up for it in substance. Rare is the JRPG that lets you create your own character; rarer still is the one that demands you create an entire party. Dragon Quest IX is crammed with such customisation.

So what are you opting for this week: style or substance?

New releases for the w/c August 16:

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS) What Is It? Mostly traditional Japanese role-playing game with turn-based combat, cutesy characters and a huge world to explore. Should You Care? A wonderful retro excursion to the golden age of JRPGs but with several nods to modernity along the way.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (360, PS3, PC) What Is It? Gangster-themed third-person shooter that swears and sweats its way through a stylish tour of the seedy underbelly of Shanghai. Should You Care? The quirky team-based multiplayer is worth investigating, but the story mode is completely forgettable.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (XBLA) What Is It? A faster, more action-oriented take on Tomb Raider, viewed from a novel top-down perspective but still packed with puzzles and exploration. Should You Care? It's a shame the promised co-op play won't be ready at launch. Stay tuned for the patch.


    Thats interesting, I thought Tomb Raider was a Sony IP.

      Tomb Raider has always been owned by Eidos, now Square Enix since the takeover.

    Looking forwared to some DQIX coop. I hope my import copy finally arrives this week!

    I'll definitely get DQ IX and Kane & Lynch 2.

    Lara croft, I'll give it a trial.

    Kane & Lynch 2 has had such a massive marketing campaign, with cinema trailers and massive displays in stores, yet it seems no one really cares.

    I'm definitely more excited about Dragon Quest IX.

    Something always repulsed me about the Kane and Lynch games. The try hard badditude really grated on me. I'll normally play anything co-op but I didn't even get through the first with a mate split screen.

    Visual style of the new one seemed a bit hit and miss in the demo too. I'll pass this week I think.

    On the Dog Days bandwagon... I enjoyed the non-story of the first one until the very ending 'choice' where one of them was a complete bullshit ending and the other ended too suddenly to find out if someone survived...

    In the middle of all the swearing, if they manage to have the same non story but at least finish it better this time then I'll be happy. K&L is like a gritty Army of Two without the chest bumping!

    Free Beanie for a pre-order also! :)

    If choking on your own vomit was good enough for Jim Morrison... well then, nah... I'll give it a miss.

    Dragon Quest XI is really on my list, infact I think it can revive my interest in my DS and my friends too.

    Although I did pick up Megaman Zero Collection, I just need to find some time to play it.

    Waiting for Scott Pilgrim on XBLA.

    My week in games is stuck in last week, at Monday Night Combat. And has been heavily puncuated by the return of both the A-League and the E(B)PL

    Nonetheless, I will most definitely find time to play some DQIX. Watching the 'gaf crowd go crazy over it has left me quite excited!

    "Dog Days is all style, but to my mind, there’s no substance there. Except perhaps, substance abuse."

    Good thing there's no advertising for it on this page, 'cause we all remember what happened the last time a journalist bagged out a Kane & Lynch game...

    Was going to get Kane & Lynch 2 for Fragile Alliance, but have you seen the release RRP for it? $108!! ($99 at JB)

    Average reviews, ridiculously high retail price. Great way to kill an online mode. Morons.

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