On The Radar is Punchy Title's weekly column offering commentary about a selection of new releases hitting stores during the week. For better or for worse, you should know about what is competing for your gaming dollar.
What You Must Play - Persona 4 (PS2) - MSRP: $39.99
Persona 4 is hot off the heels of the 2007 release of Persona 3 and the 2008 (re)release of Persona 3:FES. Fret not, though. Early adopters of Persona 4 will probably not be burned by an enhanced rerelease early next year.
Persona 4 will inevitably be compared to Persona 3. One reason is that its visuals are stylistically similar, though, Persona 4 is set in a strikingly different locale than Persona 3. While Persona 3 took place in an urban environment where gamers revisited one central tower during the dungeon crawling portions, Persona 4 transports gamers to a small town where a local mystery is unfolding. More similar to the Shin Megami Tensei series, dungeons in Persona 4 should prove to be more diverse than Persona 3. Early previews and reviews suggest that the relatively collected and non-chalant cast of Persona 3 is strikingly different than the down-to-earth and intimate characters of Persona 4.
If you like jRPGs, it is likely that this "last-gen" game will cement the standard for many RPGs during this generation.
If You Are a Fan of the Series - Meteos Wars (XBLA) - $10 (800 MS Points)
Meteos debuted on the Nintendo DS back in June 2005. It was an incredibly strong puzzle game that managed to reduce stereotypically long puzzling sessions down to a frantic and energetic ten minutes. It was a refreshing change that was innovative and well-suited for portable play.
Over three years later (and after a puzzling spin-off, Disney Meteos), Meteos returns with Meteos Wars on Xbox Live Arcade. It boasts online multiplayer for two people, 720p resolution and the ability to customize your alien avatar. While the addition of online multiplayer is significiant, it remains to be seen if any of the game modes have received similar updates. Regardless, you should enjoy this title if you have felt the itch to launch large quantities of bricks into space since you quit the business in 2005.
If You Want to Be Surprised - Neopets Puzzle Adventure (Wii or DS) - $39.99 and $29.99
Quick, Joel! You have one more sentence to get their attention. Neopets Puzzle Adventure is the fantastic game Puzzle Quest wrapped in Neopets. Did that work?
If you seriously enjoyed Puzzle Quest in any of its incarnations, then I can wholeheartedly recommend Neopets Puzzle Adventure. Be aware, though, that the underlying mechanic this time around is based around Othello and not Bejeweled. That shouldn't stop it from being your next dangerous addiction. Gamespot has a good preview up if you are interested in learning more.
That is all this week for On The Radar. Check back tomorrow for a new article and next week for a new On The Radar. Please leave any comments you have about posts below.