Whew. Epic weekend.
Many hours of GTA IV and Spore, which is clear to anyone reading these pages.
But quick takes on the other games I played this weekend :
Fifa 09 (PSP) :
I hated Fifa 08 on the PSP. PES 6 remained my footy game of choice on the go. With FIFA 09, that's changed. And any PES loyal knows how hard it is for a PES loyal to say this.
The basic footy gameplay is now really, really solid. It's not quite as frantic and fast paced as PES, but it's a lot more realistic. The gameplay is measured, forcing you to think about the game as you play, instead of depending on mean ball-playing skillz alone. I think this is actually better suited for portable gaming, and once you adjust to the fractionally slower-paced gameplay, FIFA 09 is a lot of fun, and very satisfying to the serious footy fan. And it looks miles better than PES, with the new collision animations so realistic that my Dad thought I was actually watching a game. Nice.
The Be A Pro mode is also brilliant, especially if you want to get the feeling of what it's like to play in an actual football match. I've actually played some footy in school, and thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being just one player, as opposed to controlling the entire team. I picked Kaka of AC Milan, and had a blast making off the ball runs, supplying defense-splitting through balls for Sheva and Ronnie, and occasionally running past defenders to score myself. The sense of being part of a team with other great players is amazing, and this is a mode that offers a whole new take on playing videogame football. May not be for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to try.
There are some nice quizzes and a manager mode to round off the most complete football package on a handheld platform. Of course, PES 09 may just change that opinion, but for now, FIFA 09 is the game of choice for PSP Peles everywhere.
Orcs and Elves (Mobile)
When John Carmack makes a game, you fucking pay attention. This is a delightfully charming, deceptively complex and challenging RPG for hardcore fans. It's in the Dungeon Master / Eye of the Beholder school of first person dungeon crawlers from the old skool era. Loads of monsters, puzzles, quests, spells, potions and equipment. Kill monsters, rest, shop, kill more monsters. Perfect. And it's on a mobile phone. Double perfect.
Orcs and Elves is a stellar example of how companies are taking old school gaming ideas and technology and finding that it's just perfect for mobile phones. Which brings me back to that old chestnut - gameplay is everything. Don't miss this if you have a Java enabled handset and are looking for a great RPG on the go.
One is the best looking game on a mobile phone. Period. And it plays great, too. A difficult, skill intensive beat em up. Complete review coming up.