Atari Spotlight wrap-up

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posted 8/14/2006 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
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NeverWinter Nights 2 (PC) The gameis coming along well and looks to make it’s release date this October. The team is shoring up last minute issues and the game looks fantastic. Outside of the new interface controls (which are a huge upgrade over the old radial system) one of the big things in sequel is the addition of two new cameras types to the game. The first is a World or Warcraft style camera which sits just above and to the right of your shoulder as you walk through the world while the second is more of a Baldur’s Gate style camera that allows you to switch between your various party members without having the camera flip back as you switch between team members. The game is certainly going to be a big hit with people who love the series and barring any further delays the game will be out in October.

 

Dungeons and Dragons Tactics (PSP) – Atari’s second D&D franchise is probably going to help sell a lot of PSP’s as developer Kuju is really pushing the PSP to it’s technical limits. The best description they have for the game is that the game is a basically X-Com with the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 rule set. The game features some amazing lighting effects and graphics as well as the most complete interpretation of the current ruleset. For those of you who aren’t as versed in the current D&D rule set the game does have a mode where the non hard core D&D player can get the most out of the game. 

Besides the 100 or so hours you can spend in the single player campaign the game also features co-op an adversarial multiplayer modes. The head to head modes include your standard last man standing deathmatch modes along with a treasure hunt mode and a gladiatorial mode. The fun part about the second two is that you can employ a little evil strategy in them by waiting until your opponent is either engaged in combat with a monster or carrying a ton of treasure and then attack them while they least expect it. The game looks really strong and the developers at Kuju are rightfully proud of their game which should be on shelves in February 2007.

 

Earthworm Jim (PSP)- Earthworm Jim is probably one of the more beloved yet forgotten platforming heroes but Atari is looking to correct that with the first all new Earthworm Jim adventure in years. While I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the game I think fans of the original series are going to dig the game as te developers seemed to have captured the sense of humor of the first game as well as a good look and feel for the game. Throw in the games multiplayer competition mode and this could be yet another reason to get Sony’s handheld platform. The game is expected to ship in February of 2007.

 

Bulletwitch (Xbox 360) – Set in a post apocalyptic world, humanity isn’t having the best of days. Besides a plague and war that’s ravaged humanity the Earth is now being invaded by demons and it’s up to you to stop them. You play Alicia, a bulletwitch who carries around an upgradable gun-rod and can cast spells who’s there to kick demon ass and chew bubble gum and she’s all out of gum. The game is played in the third person and features some pretty decent looking graphics. The environment can be used as a weapon as I was able to knock an empty water tower unit off the top of a building onto a few demons below. The demons take quite a few hits to take down so you are going to be constantly moving and firing. Alicia’s spells are what make the game interesting and the demo showed off two of them rather well. The first summoned a spirit wall that she could take cover behind (she slowly regenerated health) and the second literally brought down the power of the lighting down upon a group of enemies (think Storm in the third X-Men movie). It’s a pretty cool effect but I wonder if some people might get tired of the constant running and gunning (although the same thing could be said of Dead Rising and people seem to be digging that game). The game does look great and there is certainly a target market for this kind of game when it comes out in the second quarter of 2007.

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