Since I have to play a fuckton of games on a daily basis and the Mercury has a limited amount of review space, a lot of games fall through the cracks. Consider this my (hopefully weekly) attempt at covering as many of these titles as possible. I'll mostly be choosing stuff that I've been enjoying recently, but if there is anything you want me to specifically review, let me know and I'll try to make it happen.
Persona 4 -- $40 -- PlayStation 2
I've been meaning to go on and on about this one for the last month, but thanks to Atlus' embargo I metaphorically stapled my mouth shut and cut off all my fingers.
That embargo ended yesterday and my fingers grew back this morning, so here's the scoop: Persona 4 is the best game released this year.
"But Nexy! It's on the PlayStation 2! And it's hyper-Japanese! And ... and ... and ..." I hear you crying before you collapse out of frustration and lack of oxygen.
True, the game will hit a "dead" console on December 9, but like the Little Engine That Could, Persona 4 simply does its thing without any regard to your preconceived (and frankly racist) notions on antiquated technology.
Its "thing," by the way, is a super immersive, massively stylized roleplaying epic. Think Final Fantasy minus the masturbatory, angst-ridden characters and pretentious storyline, then blended seamlessly with the hippest anime to ever leak out of Japan's tentacled womb. This is the gaming equivalent of "that movie" that you ask people about to gauge how hip they are, and spend hours at parties explaining to pretty girls who stare at you with a mix of grudging attraction and vague annoyance.
I could go on for pages explaining the storyline or the various traits of the game's cast, but instead I'll say this: If the 'net had evolved to the point where I could hold a gun to your head and force you to buy Persona 4, I'd still just suggest politely that you purchase it. I'm not a monster, after all.
NCAA Football 2009 -- $60 -- PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
I don't care that it was released back in July or that sports games are as anathema to most gamers as garlic to vampires, I'm currently enjoying NCAA Football 2009.
I won't lie and say that people who don't dig sports on some level will actually enjoy this game -- they won't -- but those of you who spend your Saturdays cheering on the Ducks or the Beavers won't find a better simulation of the collegiate gridiron spectacle.
Of course, it sorta wins that title by default as EA's game has absolutely no competition, but thankfully it's actually a pretty good title. All the major teams are represented, and even the Portland State Vikings are available for those of us who spent our college years stumbling drunk through the Park Blocks.