You just can't keep a shitty franchise down...
Yup. Duke Nukem lives again. I really don't get the continuing appeal of this franchise. It hasn't even been good since it's heyday of 2D sharware, much less it's unexplainable explosion of popularity by going to 3D and ripping off everything from Doom to Evil Dead. Nevertheless, it just won't seem to die. Of course, I dunno what anyone's expecting at this point, the game has been in the works in some form or another for like 15 years. The final product, assuming it ever actually comes out, will probably be extremely dissapointing, we've seen it before with games that take multiple generations of consoles to be made such as Kameo & Too Human. Granted, 2K games is no slouch, but we already are overloaded with ridiculous macho heroes in games, I don't see this making much of a dent.
Ok so rather than outright buying, I ended up renting both Metroid: Other M and Disney's Guilty Party. Metroid: Other M's flaws are fairly apparent right from the get go, but easily the biggest flaw is the godawful story and acting. Nintendo's never reallytried to put together a deep story for any of their flagship characters, and this is a prime example that they probably shouldn't. And there's better acting in porn. The saving grace is probably the combat. Sure, first person is clunky, but it's handled well enough that it's not an issue and moves she as jumping on an enemy and shooting it in the head never get old. I'll probably pick it up somewhere down the line, but honestly I've got several lengthy rpgs in my backlog I'd rather work on first.
Guilty Party on the other hand is a surpring delight (aside from the incredibly annoying theme song). The characters you can play are varied and interesting. The minigames are admittedly mediocre, but the game's Clue-esque mystery solving is it's biggest draw. This isa pretty prime exmple that casual isn't a dirty word and can be fun and done extremely well if actual effort is put into it.
Finally, a bit further thought on the whole Xbox live price hike. Last time I commented that it seems like a lot just to play Halo. But as Tycho has rightfully pointed out, I am one of those who doesn't really play online much(the last game I seriously got into online was Halo 3), so the value of easy matchmaking and cross-game chat along with various other subtle but important differences easily make the soon to be $5 are month a worthwhile investment for most. However, seeing as my primary uses are things I would get equal performance of on other consoles (netflix streaming) or would get for free anyways (updates, most demos, etc.), it's still not a worthile investment for me personally.
Ok, that's pretty much all for today but I should most definitely be back by Tueday with thoughts on Birth By Sleep and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions along with anything else that goes down. Til then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: KA-BLOOM