I remember during my counter-jockey days of managing an Electronics Boutique, every holiday season around this time of year the shipments of games to stock for the coming buying spree would increase almost logarithmically. I would unpack these boxes stuffed with terrible, half-hearted games, and I would wonder, "who buys this stuff?" Over the next few weeks I would find out as shovelware flew off the shelves. I always think of the release of a bunch of Cabella games as the opening ceremonies for shovelware season.
That said, there are still quite a few releases worth caring about coming over the next few weeks. I want to start this week, however, by talking a little about Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. I will say this, at least Stardock has held true to its commitments to create a large, meaningful update to Elemental to hopefully address the myriad issues people had with the largely disappointing game. I wish I didn't feel like it was too little, too late, because I still really want to play the game I'd hoped Elemental would be, and I can tell you that in the beta versions of Fallen Enchantress I played there was real progress happening. But, here in the closing days of 2012, I have a nagging sense that the opportunity may have passed.
As long as I'm wishing stuff, for that matter, I also wish I were more excited about Forza Horizon. Early buzz sounds positive, but for me there is something about the flippancy of an open-world, street racing, knock over sign posts to get collectibles kind of game that goes against what I love about the franchise. I liked the hallowed and reverential way Forza has treated its subject, and even if the simulation modelling is still all there under the proverbial hood, there's something about Horizon that gets away from the heart of a Forza game for me.
I'd like to be surprised, to play it and find that my narrow-minded interpretation is exactly that, so I'm still calling it Game of the Week. I'm just afraid that for both Horizon and Fallen Enchantress, I won't be able to get past some preconceived notions that impact how I see the game. Oh well, my loss I guess.