Link and Yoshi weren't the only gaming related purchases that made their way back from my trip to the US in May. I picked up four games in total; Assassins Creed 2 (AC2); Split Second (SS); Mod Nation Racers (MNR); Red Dead Redemption (RDR). I would have gotten Blur as well but that had yet to be released. It was a pretty good selection of games because AC2 turned out to be exceptional, RDR was very good, SS was good and only MNR was disappointing.
I had been avoiding AC2 after my experience with the first but as detailed elsewhere in this blog I actually managed to get the Platinum trophy in AC2. The setting, the graphics and the gameplay mechanics had me hooked right from the beginning. It was the story though that I enjoyed the most, it certainly has me anticipating the next installment. RDR was pretty good too. In my playthrough I just concentrated on the main story line and didn't do any other the other activities. My plan was to go back and do everything I'd missed but I'd spent so long getting the main game done that I had lost interest. Still, there is a huge world left for me to explore so I may get back to it one day.
SS was surprisingly good. I'm not a huge racing game fan but a combination of good reviews and a decent price convinced me to take the plunge. It was pretty good but with so many other games to play its time was limited. The big surprise was MNR which I found to be very disappointing. I was hoping for a combination of Little Big Planet fused with Mario Kart. The LBP feel is there, with the excellent track creation tools but the actual racing is quite poor. The handling of the cars feels off and the over-aggressive AI make the game much less fun than it should be. I know that they released a patch to fix the AI but I didn't notice the difference when I went back to it. I do get the feeling that I didn't give the game enough time and maybe some day I will give it another spin.
The US boxart for these games is slightly different to the European boxart so it brings something new to my collection. I picked three of them up in Best Buys over there and I got MNR in a GameStop in Boston. I expected the prices to be far better than here in Ireland and although they were cheaper on the whole, it wasn't by much. Otherwise I'd have gotten more than the four.