Ok, this post is later than I expected, but I spent most of last night and this morning finally finishing off Star Ocean 4, which I've been working through off and on since late last year. I did pick up Birth By Sleep on Tuesday, but to be honest, I've only played  few minutes, which isn't really enough for any kind of proper impression or full review. I will hopefully have one next time I post, which should be tomorrow or Friday.

Two games I did manage to play before I got into my lengthy Star Ocean session were two big superhero releases that came out this week: Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions & Batman : The Brave and the Bold. Ever since Arkham Asylum came out last year and showed everyone exactly how to do a superhero game, everyone was hoping other studios would take note. For its part, Shattered Dimensions starts with tons of promise. The looks of the different dimensions and the face that they all have different play styles seems to promise the best Spidey game since Spider-Man 2. But it all falls apart due to extremely loose and shoddy controls. For instance, in the Noir universe, which is completely based around stealth, I can't even do a from above take down with an enemy right below me half the time. In more action-packed universes where precise web-slinging is pretty essential, it constantly doesn't respond in a timely manner or I web jump when I should be just swinging. Even wall-crawling is problematic. Though arguably this could be worked through if the camera was competent. It's complete and absolute garbage. I can't even see where I am going most of the time. It's too bad because the presentation and ideas are great, a decent camera could've saved it.

Now Brave and the Bold starts off much like Spider-Man. The presentation is right in line with the look and the surprising humor of the brilliant but short-lived cartoon. The game itself is presented as an old-school brawler along the lines of Streets of Rage and Scott Pilgrim, and while its a fairly simple premise, its fun and it works. But it's hard to reccomend at $40 to all but the biggest B & B fans because it's a so simple. A $15-20 downloadable title seems much morethe proper price. Still, way better than Spider-Man.

Hopefully someone will actually take the lessons of Arkham Asylum and incorporate without just trying to copy them. Until then, we just have to wait for Arkham City.

Ok, that's pretty much it for today. Have to actually get some time in with Birth By Sleep so I can give some impressions next time. In the meantime, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Due Date

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