Think of the Children for March 4

Article

posted 3/4/2009 by Randy Kalista
other articles by Randy Kalista
Platforms: Multiple
Three dozen titles are fresh from the ESRB oven this past week, two-thirds of which come from Nintendo for the Wii and DS. And while I understand that the word “pimp” is a verb, I never quite thought I’d see it in the title of a game rated E for Everyone (as in Pimp My Ride: Street Racing). A DS game-producing company named 505 takes top honors for representing the most number of games rated this week (all of them rated E, of course), while Square Enix scoops a close second.

Despite Nintendo’s dominant quantities, the PC still pushed 8 games through the wringer, while the Mac came along for 3 of those titles--which is the first time I’ve seen the 360 get edged out by a Macintosh in this little ESRB race. The cross-platformer award goes to MTV Games’ Rock Band Track Pack: Classic Rock, rated Teen (mild lyrics) for the 360, PS2, PS3 and Wii. The Wii and PC make unlikely bedfellows as they share Grey’s Anatomy: The Video Game. McWhoCares?

This week’s best bet is--as best bets go--a somewhat boring decision. Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment is a micro-expansion that introduces a modicum of structures and units to an already-winning real-time strategy formula. After a healthy and extended two rounds of beta testing, it’s also promising to have intelligent player contributions incorporated into the mix.

The 360 and PS3 stopped talking to each other this week, as far as shared releases go. Aside from the shared Rock Band Track Pack (which is indeed shared), the 360 will selfishly horde Crash Time: Autobahn Pursuit, as the PS3 packs up its toys and goes home with Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic and TV Show King.

The Intriguing Title of the Week goes to MadWorld. It’s probably the first game to come along since Super Mario Galaxy to make me entertain the idea of owning a Wii. But with the Wii having millions upon millions of units in homes across the globe (the sun never sets on the Nintendo empire), I’m even more curious as to how this distinctly Western, distinctly hardcore title will perform at cash registers. If I had a Wii, I’d be dying for the Sin City aesthetic, copious blood sprays, and garish cartoon violence. If you’re visiting a site like GamingNexus, then you’re probably akin to having that desire as well; but I’m wondering if MadWorld skyrockets straight into the Overlooked category of Wii games.

Title   Publisher   Rating   Platforms
Dolphin Discovery   505 Everyone   DS
Kitten Corner  505 Everyone  DS
Puppy Playtime  505 Everyone  DS
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars  Sega Everyone  Wii
Crystal Defenders R1  Square Enix Everyone  Wii
Crystal Defenders R2 Square Enix Everyone  Wii
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years  Square Enix Everyone  Wii
Pimp My Ride: Street Racing  Activision-Blizzard  Everyone  PS2
Pony Paradise  505 Everyone  DS
X-Men Origins: Wolverine  Activision-Blizzard  Teen  PSP
Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment  Stardock Teen  PC
Spore Galactic Adventures  EA Everyone 10+  Mac, PC
Monster Mayhem: Build and Battle  Crave Everyone 10+  Wii
Family Pirate Party  Aksys Everyone 10+  Wii, WiiWare
Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game  Ubisoft  Teen  DS
Jonathan Kane The Protector  Tri Synergy Mature  PC
Tachyon: The Fringe  NovaLogic  Everyone  PC
Flower, Sun, and Rain  Xseed JKS Teen  DS
Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game  Ubisoft  Teen  PC, Wii
Emergency Room: Real Life Rescues  Legacy Interactive  Teen  DS
Emergency!  Destineer  Everyone 10+  DS
Emerald Island  Fluid Everyone  Web
P.J. Pride Pet Detective, Destination: Europe  iWin Everyone  Mac, PC
Crazy Chicken – Atlantis Quest  Mumbo Jumbo  Everyone  DS
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Wheelie Breakers  Konami Everyone  Wii
Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic   Sony Everyone 10+   PS3
The Humans - Meet the Ancestors!  Koch Media  Everyone  PC
The Humans - Meet the Ancestors!  Koch Media  Everyone  DS
Pokémon Platinum  Nintendo  Everyone  DS
Rock Band Track Pack: Classic Rock  MTV Games  Teen  PS2, 360, Wii, PS3
MadWorld  Sega Mature  Wii
The Hidden Object Show Seasons 1 & 2  21 Rocks Everyone  Mac, PC
TV Show King  Gameloft  Everyone  PS3
My Farm Around the World  ValuSoft Everyone  DS
Crash Time: Autobahn Pursuit  Conspiracy Teen  360
Major Minor's Majestic March  Majesco Everyone  Wii

Here’s the final tally on who, what and where everything was rated for last week. There were 36 rated titles on 10 platforms (counting Web Browsers and WiiWare): 360 (2), DS (12), Mac (3), PC (8), PS2 (2), PS3 (3), PSP (2), Wii (11), and WiiWare (2). There were 26 of the 36 titles rated Everyone 10+ or lower, 8 rated Teen, and 2 titles (MadWorld and Jonathan Kane The Protector) with Mature branded in their ESRB box. Still no sign of an Adults Only title to be seen.

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

Rating   Count
Everyone  166
Everyone 10+  40
Teen  61
Mature  15
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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