Think of the Children for January 28th

Article

posted 1/28/2009 by Randy Kalista
other articles by Randy Kalista
Platforms: Multiple
Forty more games in the bag for the ESRB this past week. And if desktop gaming is dead then somebody forgot to tell the PC developers -- because PCs are putting more games in front of the ESRB than any other platform. The 360 is at a reasonable 2nd place, but skips out on games like Word Whomp Underground and Brain Games Mahjongg

This week’s best bet goes to Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and the Damned. Try to mask your surprise. But it’s about time we get to see what happens when you give Take Two $50 million and ask for 360-exclusive DLC. I guarantee you I’ll be there assessing the damage.

For cross-console hand-holding between the 360 and PS3, both platforms will be playing Puzzle Quest Galactrix, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Crystal Defenders, Heroes Over Europe, Resident Evil 5, Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires and WWE Legends of WrestleMania.

This week’s ‘intriguing title’ is Lux-Pain (not to be confused with any deluxe revamp of the Max Payne series). It’s a text-based adventure game in which you follow a character through a storyline laced with an epidemic. The characters discuss murder, vehicular deaths, and group suicides -- “I’m starting to make sense of mass suicides”. One sexually suggestive line goes, “Gather all the hot girls and dress them in maid outfits!”

Of course, Mata Hari is rather intriguing as well. The real Mata Hari was Dutch exotic dancer and prostitute (and WWI spy) Margarete Zelle. Dialogue options can run along the lines of “seduction by dismissing,” “seduction by dancing” and “seduction by flattery,” etc. While it all depends on how the subject matter is handled, both Lux-Pain and Mata Hari are both rated Teen. Sam & Max and Strong Bad may hold the current point-and-click spotlight, but more adventurous adventure games continue to explore unique territory.

Title   Publisher   Rating   Platforms
Word Whomp Underground  EA Everyone  PC
Arkanoid Live! Taito Everyone  360
Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers  Wizards Of The Coast  Teen  PC, 360
Major League Baseball 2K9  2K Games  Everyone  PS2, PSP, Wii
Lux-Pain  Ignition  Teen  DS
Puzzle Quest Galactrix  D3Publisher Everyone 10+  Mac, PC, 360, PS3
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and the Damned  Rockstar Mature  360
Guitar Hero Metallica  Activision-Blizzard  Teen  PC, 360, PS3
Ancient Secrets  RealNetworks  Everyone  Mac, PC
Crystal Defenders Square Enix Everyone  360, PS3
Backyard Baseball '10  Atari  Everyone  PS2, Wii
Brain Games Brain Teasers  On Hand Everyone  PC
Brain Games Mahjongg  On Hand Everyone  PC
Exit 2 Taito Everyone  360
Heroes Over Europe  Atari  Teen  PC, 360, PS3
Eco Tycoon: Project Green  ValuSoft Everyone  PC
Resident Evil 5  Capcom Mature  360, PS3
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009  Konami Everyone  Wii
Monster Pals  Crave Everyone 10+  Wii
Pinewood Derby  U&I Everyone  PC
Noby Noby Boy Namco Bandai Everyone  PS3
Family & Friends Party  Gammick Everyone  Wii
Heracles Chariot Racing  Neko Everyone  Wii
Cocoto Platform Jumper  Neko Everyone  Wii
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut  Ubisoft  Teen  Wii
Ancient Quest of Saqqarah   City Interactive Everyone   PC
Princess Lillifee's Magic Fairy  DreamCatcher Everyone  DS
Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires  Koei Teen  360, PS3
Empire: Total War  SEGA  Teen  PC
Phantasy Star Portable  SEGA  Teen  PSP
WWE Legends of WrestleMania  THQ Teen  360, PS3
MLB 09: The Show  SCEA Everyone  PS2, PSP
MLB 09: The Show  SCEA Everyone  PS3
Mata Hari  DTP Teen  PC
Codename: Panzers Cold War  Atari  Teen  PC
Backyard Baseball '10  Atari  Everyone  DS
My Friends  Oxygen Games  Everyone  DS
Puzzle Kingdoms  Zoo Games Everyone 10+  DS
Space Invaders - The Original Game  Taito Everyone  Wii
Blood Ties  eGames Everyone 10+  PC

Here’s the final tally on who, what and where everything was rated for last week. There were 40 rated titles on eight platforms: 360 (11), DS (5), Mac (3), PC (15), PS2 (3), PS3 (9), PSP (3), Wii (9). There were 31 of the 40 titles rated Everyone 10+ or lower, 11 rated Teen, and two (Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and the Damned, and Resident Evil 5) rated M for Mature.

The running tally of game ratings in 2009 is as follows:


Rating   Count
Everyone  79
Everyone 10+  21
Teen  36
Mature  8
Adults Only  0
Got a comment on the article or a rated game? Put it in the comments section or send me an e-mail. Until next week, make sure you know what your kids are playing…

*The weekly Intriguing Title of the Week (and any game that is tossed in that paragraph) is identified based on a game on the list that catches the eye of the author for any number of reasons. Good, bad or otherwise, feel free to agree, disagree or add some constructive input to the discussion.

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