Game Review Roundup: Downloadables - WORMS, LARA CROFT, More

Game Review Roundup: Downloadables

When you're feeling a bit lazy, but want a new video game, there are actually some great options for you. The downloadable titles on PSN and XBLM have been rapidly expanding, and some great full-fledged titles are now available. This week we take a look at a handful of them, and let you know which you should buy from the comfort of your couch.

Worms 2: Armageddon (Reviewed on PS3)

The Worms are back! In this remake of the classic "tank battle" game, all the elements of old fun are there. You have the adorable (and adorably voiced) worms that fight your battles, a hilarious selection of off-the-wall weaponry (I mean, who hasn't wanted to throw an exploding sheep at someone every once-in-a-while? I just did this morning!), and near-endless customizability. If you've already poured countless hours into the Worms franchise, or maybe did 10-15 years ago, this will feel like a wonderful return home. If you're new to it, you're in for a treat. This strategic game with more than a dash of comedy can now be played online or at-home multiplayer, has a great, easy tutorial, tons of unlockables, and of course trophies to brag to your wormy friends about. Short matches can be played in about 15-20 minutes, making it a perfect title to sit down with for a round or two before or after playing a longer game; it makes a great palette cleanser. There's really nothing wrong with this game, and it's hard to think of someone that wouldn't enjoy it. Take turns using Worms to shoot other Worms with ridiculous weapons, laugh at the silly voices, and generally just have a gaming experience that reminds you how goofy and fun video games can be. This is a game for people who like fun, and it's every bit as good as I remember from bygone years. You like fun, don't you?

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (Reviewed on Xbox 360)

This top-down shooter is not a Tomb Raider game. In fact, it's something better than any of those games have been in quite some time. By taking the base elements of shooting, jumping, exploring, and adding in an arcade feel, a 3/4 top-down view, and co-op play, they've created a wholly different game. There are still the trademark puzzles, but now the key is figuring it out with a friend. Sitting on the couch and playing through with a friend is by far the best way to play. Most of the game isn't terribly difficult, but the occasional challenging section spices it up. From guns to bombs to spears, from challenges to achievements, this game has incredible depth for a downloadable title. It's fun, it's gorgeous to look at (using the engine from their last disc-title didn't hurt that at all), and even has a pretty cool (though somewhat formulaic) story, to boot. Available now on Xbox360, PS3, and PC, this is a great title for you and a friend at home. Online co-op play is promised, but has not yet been implemented; it's really more fun to be in the same room anyway.

Blade Kitten (Reviewed on PS3)

Blade Kitten is styled to look like an anime. It has a great look, and the cutscenes are well-animated and engaging. The character is likable, the voice acting is well-done, and that look and feel carries over nicely into the game itself. You'll note, I've said all these nice things and haven't talked about the gameplay. A few things, like the inability to crouch and the extremely random special attacks (they seem to randomly happen every once in awhile if you're lucky) are just strange design choices. The combat in general, as well as the exploration, just seems to be missing something, though. It's not inherently bad, but it gets repetitive as early as the very first level in the game. For a gamer new to platformers, this may very well be a great, engaging game. But if you've played more than say 2 or 3 2d platform games in the past, everything about this feels like old hat. You can try to say the resonation is the element of "new" in the game, but even that has really been done before. This game plays like a good demo of something with many more features that's coming down the road. Unfortunately, it doesn't play like that realized finished product, especially for a game that was delayed several months this year. Platform junkies needing their next fix can have fun with this game. Any casual player can just as easily stay away.

Played any of these yet? What did you think?

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