Xbox 360 roundup: Blazing Angles, Rumble Roses and Tomb Raider

I’ve recently taken a little break from playing Oblivion, which had been the only disc in my 360 for the past couple of months, and I decided to try a range of games. While working on our book, Xbox 360 for Dummies, I added every single 360 game to my Q on Gamefly.com, so I end up getting a random selection whenever I send back the previous game.

This month, I returned Full Auto (interesting idea, combining guns and driving, but after playing PGR 3, Ridge Racer 6, and Need For Speed: Most Wanted… it just didn’t seem like my kind of driving game) and ended up with Rumble Roses XX. Whatever else I may say about that game, it certainly has expanded the range of games that I have tried. I’ve only played it for about an hour, but it left me with some mixed feelings so far. On one hand, it appears to be a pretty good wrestling game and I am completely in favour of sexy, scantitly glad women wrestingly on high-definition television. The problem for me is that the game seems to take it a bit too far. The idea of a good fighting game where the characters happen to be very attractive women is a good one… but even the quick match I played involved a little fashion show to start, taking way too long for each character to do a ‘runway walk’ back and forth before getting into the ring. Outside of the fighting, the addition of a photo-shoot mode really showed how far from my idea of a ‘game’ this title goes. I have no doubt that there is an audience for this game, but I prefer to keep my hand on the controller while playing. DOA4 hits a better balance in this sub-genre of games (the ones with hot chicks in revealing clothing that is), focusing way more on the fighting and letting the fact that the fighters are sexy women be a nice side benefit. DOA4 does have additional costumes, but the lack of a photo shoot mode and a much deeper game makes it more my style. I haven’t played the DOA volleyball game, but I gather it is more aimed at the Rumble Roses XX crowd.

My other full game experience this month has been with Blazing Angels, a game that I’ve been excited about from the moment I read the first description of it online. I love WWII planes, specifically the Spitfire, and I’ve been reading books about them ever since I was old enough to pick them out myself. I’ve played Combat Flight Simulator and other flying games (not that this is a simulator, it is more of a Crimson Skies type of game) that covered some of these planes, but I have never found one that looked or played this good. Flying a Spitfire IX over London, chasing down wave after wave of ME109s and Stukkas never really gets old for me. The Arcade mode makes for a lot of replayability after the campaign is done, and mutliplayer is always a good feature…. I’ve been playing Split Screen with my son, although he is enjoying flying his ME262 into the eiffel tower so much that he usuallly crashes before I can even come close to shooting him down.

I played a few other games here and there, but none of them for very long… certainly not long enough to form much of an opinion. I tried the Tomb Raider demo though and I was quite impressed. If Ms. Croft was formed a bit more like Joanna Dark I would have been able to take it a bit more seriously, but all in all it reminded me a lot of the Prince of Persia games… but with the graphics bumped up a bit by the 360.

Next up, I’ll probably try out the table tennis game, Major Nelson was pushing it pretty hard the last time we chatted (and that is always a good indicator for me), and I’m really looking forward to Battle for Middle Earth II to hit the 360.

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