Don’t want to pay $10 bucks for a video game rental?  Well, we here at IoM recently scoured the new demo releases on Xbox Live and PsN to let you know what’s worth your time!

Xbox Live/Playstation Network

You can check out these demos out right now on Xbox Live or PsN!  Check out the list and reviews after the jump!

Ninja BladeNinja Blade (360 only)
Probably a bit too much like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden, what sets this apart from other games of its type are it’s outrageous battle sequences, which are primarily done through “quick action” button presses.  The problem is that the sequences, while spectacular, go one for a bit too long and remind me a lot of Dragon’s Lair.  And it appears as if there aren’t death sequences programmed for these modes, as not hitting the right button will just result in rewinding to the beginning of the sequence, which just makes me feel like, rather than playing a game, I’m pressing the right button combo to play a video.

Wow…this was a lot better than I thought it was going to be.  It reminds me a bit of The Getaway (from Ps2) mixed with some of the old James Bond Ps2 games.  Though it declares itself open world, it’s only as much of an open world as the last couple of Need for Speed games were – that is, not much of one.  It seems like the best options are to jump to the map and skip to the missions, rather than actually finding cool stuff to do around the city.  Still…high production values, lots and lots of cool car explosions, and it’s got Vin Diesel!  I will say the graphics seem a bit dated, but I guess they have to be considering the amount of stuff going on on the screen without too much slow down.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark AthenaThe Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
You know, I had planned to buy this game until I played the demo.  I want to see another Riddick film, and I figure supporting this game would help us see one.  However, despite all the praise I heard about the original Xbox Riddick game, this one…well, it feels like an original Xbox Riddick game.  The graphics didn’t bowl me over, and the controls seem a little wonkish.  I got stuck in a wall at one point, and there just seem to be too many glitches for a game that comes out in a couple of weeks.  I’ll wait for some reviews on this one.  I still want another Riddick movie.

Wanted: Weapons of FateWanted: Weapons of Fate
Another game that turned out much better than I expected.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie, and when I heard the same lame type of voiceover work in the game, I rolled my eyes.  But the action is pretty spectacular (like in that Bourne Conspiracy game for the 360), the graphics are pretty nice, and the set pieces (at least the one in the demo) were exciting.  Still, the thing that sets this game apart is supposed to be that “curve the bullet” nonsense, and that doesn’t really work all that well.  Neither does hand to hand combat or stealth kills.  Graphically, and as long as I’m shooting without curving, lots of fun…but probably not enough to sustain a full game.

Afro SamuraiAfro Samurai
Yeah, it’s just a bloody button masher, but damn…it’s AFRO SAMURAI!  As soon as I get around to seeing the second film, I’m going to write a little more about my love for Afro, but in the meantime, I really enjoyed the demo.  The only unique thing about the game are the visuals.  This is a beautiful game to see in motion.  Still, I could see it being a budget title, or at least a $40 jobbie, but at $60…I dunno.  Fans of the character only.  Still…it’s fun.

F.E.A.R. 2FEAR 2
Yeah…um…don’t believe the hype.  I enjoyed what I played of F.E.A.R. 1, and loved the hell out of the F.E.A.R. 2 demo, but I purchased the game and traded it in immediately after finishing the game.  It’s scary and exciting for the first level or two, but fourteen levels later, nothing scared me or excited me.  The lack of a cohesive storyline or any real cut scenes left the entire story to be told via text during loading screens.  Kind of unacceptable in this day and age.  Anyway, download the demo and give it a shot.  It’s fun…just repetitious.

Watchmen: The End is NightWatchmen: The End is Nigh
Yeah, it’s just a brawler and a button masher, and yes, it disrespects the point of Alan Moore’s original text, but you know…this is actually a lot of fun.  In the world of the movie, which had an emphasis on the more action-oriented sections of the graphic novel, this fits right in.  This is essentially a prequel to the film that takes place about 10 years before the events of the film, when Rorschach and Nite Owl were partners.  Sure, some of the stuff doesn’t make sense (like Rorschach having a super powered screen clearing explosion thingie), but it’s meant to be a fun game and, as far as movie tie-ins go, it’s a halfway decent game that doesn’t try to charge us $60.  Give the demo a shot.  If you’re a die-hard Moore fan and felt that even the movie was sacrilege…um, skip this.