Play Magazine – September 2005

September 13, 2005

Katie objects to the image on the cover of this month’s Play, and I can hardly blame her. The mammary glands on the Magna Carta women are a little bit frightening, to be honest, and it doesn’t get any better inside. The editor’s note behind the front page is an angry and sarcastic slam against the hyper- and hipo- critical way that American media and politicians responded to the Hot Coffee incident. Hilarious, and interesting because here in online media world Hot Coffee is *so* last week.

The cover story is about Magna Carta. From the buzz on the interwebs, it seems like this is a hotly anticipated title (possibly because of the aforementioned mammary glands) but the rundown in the magazine makes it come off as a pretty looking but standard FRPG. The battle system sounds vaguely interesting, though. Looks to be coming out sometime in November, guess I’ll have to see what there is to review around then.

Some one pagers about games I’m not all that interested in roll by (MotoGP 3, Digital Devil Saga, Spartan Total Warrior). They have a one-page on Dirge of Cerberus, the “sequel” to Final Fantasy VII starring Vincent Valentine. It’s going to be an action shooter set in the world of one of the most influential RPGs ever made. Release date TBD, but uh, I think I’m going to have to play this one.

This issue of Play has a spread on 360 game Suffering. Since it’s one of the games that is most developed for the system (likely a launch title) it’s been getting a lot of press. It’s a sequel to a title which revolved around a convict fleeing a prison infested with demons and shadows. Very dark, very creepy, needlessly bloody. It looks visually appealing, but there are a lot of titles on the box I’m looking forward to more.

Serious Sam 2! Yay! The original Sam was one of the most pointlessly gratuitous FPSes I’ve ever played, and I can’t count the number of times we’ve tried to get a co-op game going at a LAN party. The sequel is planned for PC and XBox, with a 2-player co-op mode in the works. That would be rocking. Release later this fall.

Crash Tag Team Racing. WTF? They’re still making Crash games? Blech. The Preview gallery holds some good looking titles, including the next Viewtiful Joe, the Nightmare Before Christmas game, and Ultimate Spider-Man. The next Tomb Raider is aimed at March of next year…and looks good. I’ve never really liked a Tomb Raider title, to be honest, but that’s got to be looked at. Another MMOG from WebZen. Great. Endless Saga is a next-gen MMOG title, with over the top graphics for a five second graphics spot. Yeesh.

The interviews section is all about franchises. Mortal Kombat, Jak and Dexter, and (yay!) Sly 3. The Sly interview made me mostly happy, despite the dopey questions. Details on the game’s design, the 3D glasses pieces, and the possibility of a cartoon all surface during the course of the piece.

Reviews all look about par for the course. I think they were a bit kind on Geist with the 5.5 … that game was very not good. Very.

More previews, for mobile and PC games. Castlevania will be played. Oh yes. Advance Wars looks good, but I wouldn’t be able to do it justice, so I’m going to pass. I find it hilarious how many more DS games there are than PSP games on the list, though. Sony needs to learn how to deal. The two PC game previews are both for MMOGs, and both sound very tempting. Huxley is slated to be an XBox MMOG as well, while Sun is yet another Korean import. While Sun looks standardly MMORPGish, Huxley is going to be a persistent shooter. I’ll be honest, I’m looking forward to the 360 quite a bit now. Yay for November. Their Dungeon Siege II review sounds about right, though they gave it one more point than I did. Low poly-tacular.

One of the parts I simultaneously enjoy and roll my eyes at with every Play magazine is the anime section. For example, “Genshikan: Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture” sounds like an amusing self-referential anime about an anime club. On the other hand we have “Grenadier: The Beautiful Warrior” which is about a cowgirl who incapacitates foes by hitting them with her breasts, and “Ghost Talkers Daydream”, which features …. well, here’s a sentence from their review: “Imagine MTV’s Daria if she was smoking hot, a medium, cursed like a sailor, worked as a dominatrix, and was drawn well.” Riiight.

A good one page editorial about getting chicks into gaming rounds out the magazine. Play sure is pretty.

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