PC Games News
Swords, guitars or spatulas: Weapons for this year's console games
By Florian Oertel and Sven Appel Jul 20, 2008, 9:59 GMT
Hamburg - It's time to take a break from gaming's guns and ammo.
This season's handheld console aficionados will be prone to taking up swords, guitars and the occasional ladle when they do electronic battle. In addition, there are two new motorcycle racing games set for release. Additionally, publisher Square Enix has come up with a new installment of its seemingly never-ending Final Fantasy series.
A guitar pick, not the standard touchpen, is the best tool for navigating the Nintendo DS version of Guitar Hero On Tour. The Activision game comes with a 'guitar grip,' which, when installed in the console, acts as a guitar. From there, it's a short step to becoming a lead guitarist, whether your musical taste includes rock, pop or alternative.
Musical selections range from Nirvana to No Doubt to the Beatsteaks and even to Tokio Hotel. Players have a choice of six different characters and five different locales. A wi-fi connection lets players compete with other Nintendo DS owners.
Players will also quickly find that the guitar grip is not their only means of interacting with the game. Blowing into the DS microphone sets off an incredibly large firework show. Players can also use the touchpen to sign autographs for their virtual fans. Guitar Hero On Tour' will be available in mid-July for about 50 euros (80 dollars).
Players will need katanas, Japanese long swords and shuriken throwing stars for Ninja Gaiden - Dragon Sword. The Nintendo DS game has 13 chapters held together with a loose background story that plays second fiddle to the main goal: chopping up your enemies.
Players start off using basic weapons, but can pick up magical powers as they move to more advanced levels. Controlling the ninja characters with a touchpen requires some practice. Published by Ubisoft, the game will cost about 40 euros.
'SBK 08' is the officially licensed game for this year's Superbike World Championship. Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) players can run simulations of the match's courses, including Monza, Valencia or even Brands Hatch in England. Players can compete as real drivers.
Publisher Codemaster promises four different kinds of weather conditions and 'accurate driving physics,' which could mean a few unintended runs through the shoulder gravel. But that's half the fun. Up to 14 players can compete at a time on the PSP. The game should be available for the DS console in September. It will cost about 40 euros.
For just a little more money, players can invest in the season's second new racing game, ATV Offroad Fury Pro, also for the PSP. Players race motorcycles in this game, but can also choose to race in buggys, quads and trophy trucks.
The game has 64 racetracks, but also gives players the option of creating their own with Track-Editor. Unlike SBK 08, it's all off-road racing through sand and mud. There are mini-games alongside the races. And, for an extra rush, the game comes with a soundtrack packed with punk and emo-core songs.