Think of the Children for April 23rd


posted 4/23/2008 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
Platforms: Multiple
Keeping alive the pattern, the ESRB followed up a rather full week of rated titles with one that has a moderate quantity. This week we take a look at 19 fresh titles which are without the usual “filler” titles. However, it does hold a couple of high profile DS titles and the usual dose of unannounced games.

What a refreshing week for me, as I don’t have to see the usual amount of filler titles that dominate the DS and PC platforms. There are a few sequels sprinkled in, but no movie tie-ins or lame Pet genre games to deal with. Just some solid retail, arcade and puzzle titles across all the platforms. This week saw the Nintendo platforms getting some of their highly sought after games, including Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen and FINAL FANTASY TACTICS A2: Grimoire of the Rift for the DS. The Wii looks to be getting the 2001 Game Boy Color title Toki Tori coming soon on WiiWare. In addition, the DS exclusive New International Track & Field, which is a sequel to the original Konami coin-op, is on the way.

The Xbox 360 and PS3 had several titles rated this week. Each had Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution and Codemaster’s Grid come across. In addition, the 360 had three titles that have been flying below the radar. The retail title Backyard Baseball ’09 and XBLA titles CrazyMouse and Golf: Tee it Up! CrazyMouse is being developed/published by Ultizen Games, which appears to be the first Chinese developed XBLA title that will hit the service. The other XBLA title, Golf: Tee it Up!, is coming from Activision and appears to be a case of the ESRB making the unofficial North American announcement. The game was first noticed on the German ratings board site last month, but so far little to no information has come out.

With only 19 titles to work with, I really don’t have a title of shame so to speak. So I chose a game that just seemed like it wasn’t needed at all, and that was Campus by Toppware Interactive. I think we all knew it would be coming eventually, but this sim about campus life seems like it may not have any legs unless it delves into the worlds of fraternities, party life and Big Time College sports. Based on the fact that the game was rated E for Everyone for content that includes mild language and use of tobacco, I’m guessing this will be the most unrealistic sim ever made. Most of us over the age of 25 probably want to forget our campus years, and those that are still in college don’t need a Sim to tell them what it is all about. Not to mention the fact that this game was originally released in October of 2007, so I have no idea why the ESRB is just now providing a rating.

Title Publisher Rating Platforms
SingStar: Pop Volume 2 SCEA T PS2
Toki Tori Two Tribes B.V. E Wii
Backyard Baseball '09 Atari, Inc. E PC, PS2, 360, Wii
Campus Topware Interactive Inc. E PC
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen Square Enix, Inc E10+ DS
Grid Codemasters E PC, 360, PS3
Helicopter Strike Force Masque Publishing T PC
John Deere: Drive Green Destineer E PC
New International Track & Field Konami  E10+ DS
Ocean Commander UFO Interactive Games E DS
P-38 Lightning Just Flight E PC
FINAL FANTASY TACTICS A2: Grimoire of the Rift Square Enix, Inc E10+ DS
City Life 2008 Edition Paradox Interactive T PC
Commando: Steel Disaster XS Games LLC E10+ DS
Bus Driver Meridian 4 E PC
Super Jigsaw Desert Explorer RealNetworks E Macintosh, PC
Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution 2K Games E10+ 360, PS3
Crazy Mouse Ultizen Games E 360
Golf: Tee It Up! Activision E 360

Here is the final tally on who, what and where everything was rated for the last week. There were 19 rated titles on seven platforms. PC (9), DS (5) and 360 (5) had the most games rated. There were 16 of the 19 titles rated at E10+ or lower, three rated at T for Teen and zero rated at M for Mature.

Got a comment on the article or a rated games, put it in the section below or send me an e-mail. Until next week, make sure you know what your kids are playing……

*The weekly Title of Shame (and any game that is tossed in that paragraph) is done so based on several factors, including which games were rated that week, how does the game concept stack up, is it a re-hashed sequel, lame movie tie-in, rip off of another game, etc…

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