That old familiar feeling...

Arguably the biggest complaint you can have against Skyrim is that's it's not any kind of massive improvement from Oblivion despite the 4-year gap between games. Combat is intense but clunky and while the character models look better, they still are awkward. That being said, the little touches that they have made make the difference. Combat is more varied and visceral with the ability to dual wield just about anything. There's a ton more stuff to do and all of it as easy as having the right items whether it be smithing, cooking or alchemy. Lock-picking, which seemed nearly impossible to do manually in previous titles, is easy to understand. And waypoints are much clearer. I've gotten about 12 hours in already, more than enough to beat your standard action game, and I've barely scratched the surface. So this should keep me busy through the rest of the year and possibly beyond quite easily. There's a growing sentiment that games are giving you less and less bang for your initial buck especially when it comes to single player. Skyrim is a big strike against that argument.

So the demos for 2 other big games dropped this last week and I did get some time in with those before Skyrim. That being Lego Harry Potter years 5-7 which came out Friday and Rayman: Origins, which comes out this week. The newest Lego Harry Potter suffers from pretty much the same issue many of the latest Lego games have been suffering from, it's all too familiar. I think they really need to go somewhere fresh and possibly unexpected for their next game if they want to keep at least somewhat entertaining. Granted maybe the young kids who play this won't care, but the Lego games initially were true family entertainment and with so little of that in gaming it'd be sad to lose it.

Rayman: Origins is absolutely beautiful game. That is also a complete rip-off of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I mean, c'mon you can even "bubble up" in it (anyone who has played Mario Bros. Wii knows exactly what I'm talking about). That being said, if you don't own a Wii it's a great way too experience that insanely fun game without buying a Wii. But this is another game that seems like it shouldn't be released in a huge holiday season because it will be virtually ignored. Too bad, because supposedly if it does well that bodes well for Beyond Good & Evil 2. But given that the wonderful critically acclaimed original Beyond Good & Evil also released during a huge holiday season and was virtually ignored you'd think Ubisoft & Mr. Ancel would've learned their lesson.

That's it for today, with a little luck I should've have another post up tomorrow. In the meantime here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Kit & The Octopod

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