vgm_121309So we’re gonna give something new a shot – a weekly run-down of the video game madness for the previous week that you need to know!  Let us know in the comments what you think, any ideas you may have for future columns, or your thoughts on the posts!

For our first VGM, after the jump you’ll see my thoughts on the recently released demos for FairyTale Fights and Dante’s Inferno, as well as a couple of awesome new video game announcements from this weekend’s Video Game Awards, including Arkham Asylum II and The Force Unleashed II!

Let’s start off with the most exciting announcements this weekend …during the Video Game Awards (which aired on Spike Saturday night), a slew of new and exciting games were announced, including sequels to some of the most popular games of 2008 and 2009!

Even though I don’t own the original Batman: Arkham Asylum yet, it’s on my Christmas list.  And I’m already looking forward to the sequel:

Another game that I probably should own, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, sees a sequel coming out next year, and another awesome trailer!

And that’s not all! Also announced were Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (which appears heavily inspired by the upcoming movie), Green Day: Rock Band, Halo Reach, and a new True Crime game that looks frickin’ sweet!

Check out a ton more footage from the event at!

dantesinfernops3Released on Thursday evening was the demo for Dante’s Inferno, the controversial new game from Electronic Arts due out this coming February.  The demo, exclusive to the Playstation Network until later this month (it premieres on Xbox Live on the 24th) is definitely for mature audiences only – there’s a ton of graphic violence and, quite surprisingly, video game nudity.

I hate to harp on the nudity, but it’s been, well, quite a while since I saw a high profile release from a major developer have such surprisingly mature imagery.  This is definitely not a game for the kiddies.  Sure, there was nudity in Conan (and I think in God of War), but there was quite a bit of sexual imagery in the demo for Dante’s Inferno.

Not that it took me out of the game for long – the demo for Dante’s Inferno is amazing and, after playing it, I’ve decided that it’s a MUST OWN.  Sure, it’s quite a bit like God of War (what action game isn’t like God of War or Gears of War nowadays?), but it’s still a fantastic piece on its own.  Larger than life boss battles, some spectacular kills and action, breathtaking visuals – it all adds up to an ideal gaming experience.

The one word I would use to describe the demo is intense.  You are thrust into the action after a very violent first image of our main character, and have to do battle with Death itself!  Then you venture to the gate of Hell to save the soul of your fiance.  If you have a Ps3, definitely check out the demo.  For you Xbox folks, I’ll be waiting for your praise later this month.

Dante’s Inferno has an exclusive “Divine Edition” for Playstation 3 that includes bonus DLC, an art book, a soundtrack, and more.  If you pre-order it for Ps3 or Xbox 360 from Gamestop, you also get a sweet looking Dante action figure.

fairytalefightsAlso released recently (not sure exactly when) was the demo for Fairytale Fights.  The concept of Fairytale Fights is pretty simple – it’s a hack’em game mixed with a platformer about classic fairy tales.  The demo released on Playstation Network and Xbox Live doesn’t really take a level of the game and make it playable, but actually seems to be kind of the “Survival” mode of the game – basically a see how many bad guys you can kill in a limited time kind of thing.

It’s not bad, but it’s probably not the best example of a reason to buy a game.  If anything, it made me feel like Fairytale Fights is more of a DLC game than one I’d actually pay the $40 SRP for.  The demo level is essentially just a couple of minutes worth of hack and slash, without actually telling us about the story of the game, nor what it really looks like.  After all, the level is entirely white, without any kind of scenery to gawk at.  Sure, you get a good sense of the dark humor in the game, and the over-the-top gore, but, really, Fairytale Fights doesn’t seem like enough polished bang for the buck.

Let us know what you think of Video Game Madness in the comments section below!