Great week for cheap bastards like me who wait to buy video games until they’ve dropped in price.  It seems like games are only $60 for the first couple of weeks before you can get them for as much as $20 less (in fact, the recently released Kane and Lynch sequel was only $19.99 at Best Buy this past week, despite being released just two months ago).

I hesitate to buy a lot of games for $60, even if I think I’m really going to love them.  I’ve just been burned too many times in the past.  Not only that, $60 is a lot of money to spend on something you’re going to lose at least $20 on as soon as you leave the store, even if you hate it and decide to trade it in.  And video game companies are trying really hard to get your hard earned cash with some awesome bonuses and special editions…but are the extra fees worth it if the game isn’t?

Thankfully, I played some demos this week that might make my purchasing decisions a lot easier!  Check out my review of some demos I recently played after the jump!

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
I really want to like this series.  I want to know the story of Starkiller and his attempts to overcome his conditioning as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice.  The problem is that I didn’t care for the demo for the original game and, to this day, still haven’t purchased it despite wanting to really play the game.  I just don’t think it’s that great of a game, despite how good the story may be.

In The Force Unleashed II, a clone of Starkiller breaks free from the clutches of Vader and continues on the good deeds of the original.  Despite some awesome cinematics and some pretty stellar action…this demo had me feeling that this was more of the same.  I got the same feeling from playing this demo as I did from the demo for the original. Lots of spectacular explosions and set pieces…but just kind of generic and confusing gameplay.  The force powers are still no easier to pull off.  The bonus though?  Decapitating the hell out of some stormtroopers with your lightsaber.

My biggest disappointment is not being able to know Starkiller’s story because of my disinterest in playing the actual game.  And I buy the graphic novels based on the games, but it’s frustrating because the writers have decided to do something “different” and not actually adapt the story of the game, but tell side stories.  So, maybe I’ll buy the damn novels.  Am I just not getting it?  Why can’t I enjoy these games that look so awesome?

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Now this one was a bit of a surprise.  I was excited when I heard that Hideo Kojima, who developed the excellent Metal Gear Solid series, was working on a Castlevania.  Then I saw the trailers and realized I was looking at another God of War rip-off, just like Dante’s Inferno. Recent reviews of the game have said the same, and not only that, they’ve said it was a good game, just not a good Castlevania game, missing many of the elements that made the game popular among fans of the first place.

Here’s the thing though … I don’t own God of War, or Dante’s Inferno (despite wanting to own both).  Not only that, I haven’t been a fan of the Castlevania series in a long time, and recent “retro feel” releases, while leaving most fans happy, just left me…bored.  The demo for Lords of Shadow kicks ass.  It’s absolutely beautiful and, not only that, fun to play.  The music is amazing, the gameplay exciting, the story intriguing.  In fact, it reminds me a bit of the feeling I got from playing the Legacy of Kain series on Ps2 way back when.  It seems like Lords of Shadow is going to be epic and, you know what, I really want to own this game now.  Great demo, Konami.

Sonic The Hedgehog 4
Not the biggest fan of this recent trend of “retro feel” releases.  Don’t get me wrong, re-releasing old games with the same feel has been a bit of fun for me (like the recently released Turtles in Time), but releasing a new game in a series done in the style of its older 8-bit counterparts…I don’t know…I just don’t dig it.  I played the recent Mega Man entries and I think that they’re fun and all…but there’s a reason games have moved beyond that.

And then you get something like Sonic the Hedgehog 4, which is a hell of a lot of fun and shows how you can do this stuff right.  The game opens and feels just like a Sonic the Hedgehog game should, and fans of the original series will absolutely love this one.  The feel is right, the gameplay is right, and you get some stunning high def graphics.  This is Sonic like we love Sonic…it’s just a shame they made it downloadable instead of an actual disc you buy, even at a cheaper cost.  I’d imagine they’re missing some sales that way.

Comic Jumper
And another positive review!  Comic Jumper tells the story of Captain Smiley, a struggling comic character who’s fallen on hard times.  His own comic is filled with great action and excitement and laughs, but sales have dropped to the point of cancellation.  So now he’s broke and living out of a basement, sharing living quarters with his greatest villains, including the horrible, horrible….BRAD.  To get his sales up, Captain Smiley needs to guest star in other best selling comic books and get his name out more.

The demo for Comic Jumper is a hell of a lot of fun.  You get hand to hand combat (that results with throwing thugs through windows and walls) then a shoot out with a helicopter and some sexy fembots who are out for your smilin’ head!  Then, you leap off a building as the helicopter comes crashing down, shooting at it to keep the debris from hitting you in a damn spectacular scene.

Comic Jumper is a blast, and it looks like it only gets better from there, as the art style changes from level to level – you get a manga-styled level, some swords and sorcery, silver age goodness, and more.  Comic fan?  Check Comic Jumper out.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Fan of Red Dead Redemption?  So are your Funnybooks hosts.  A new zombie expansion kit is being released on October 26th.  Friend us on Xbox Live (me at Peekai and Aron at IoMAron) and come shoot some cowboy zombies with us!