So today saw the UK release of two Wii games I've been looking forward to for ages, and I was front of the queue. (Not that there actually was a queue for either of these, but you know what I mean.)
You may know that I've been anticipating Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles since it was first announced - with perhaps a little trepidation for how this rail shooter adapts the storyline of my beloved Resident Evil 2. Having played the first few chapters, my impressions are very positive. Okay, they've changed a lot of it around, but its heart is in the right place, and the characters are faithfully portrayed (well, so far - we'll see about Ada when I reach that bit).
The other game I've picked up is Muramasa: The Demon Blade. It's not normally the kind of thing I'd go for - a relatively shallow action platformer. But it has an easy mode, at least, and besides: this thing's fucking gorgeous.
One obvious example of how video game criticism and marketing are way too close for comfort is the way that praise for their visuals is often limited to the technological aspects, where the gold standard is high definition, 3D, photorealistic graphics with simulated light effects galore. The more real the better, artistry be damned (never mind that such a focus on high-technology visuals is the chief reason modern mainstream games are having such a tough time turning a profit). But Muramasa's got none of that. Just crisp, hand-drawn 2D artwork, fluidly animated, carefully composed. Like I said, gorgeous: