#LessAmbitiousGames 2011

Incase you don’t follow the wonderful world of twitter and its 140 characters limit of insults, wondrous links and witty thoughts about everyday life, then you’ve missed out on the latest twitter trend #lessambitious(insert media). This wonderful hashtag has spawned #lessambitiousbands, #lessambitiousfilms and #lessambitiousgames, all of which take popular bands, films and game franchises and twist them into things that just sound outright lame. For example some of the stellar #lessambitiousgames mentioned were “Minor Major’s Majestic Massacre” (Major Minors Majestic March), “Marvel Mulls Over Picking A Fight With Capcom 3” (Marvel Vs. Capcom 3) and “Mildly Frustrated Birds” (Angry Birds). This whole business got me thinking. It’s all well and good making fun of the games that were sub par, or massively popular, but what about those many, many games that are due to come out over 2011? How many of them will really be the less ambitious games of the year, and who are the contenders?

I came across this gem not too long ago, piped for release in the UK on march 25th Battle Vs. Chess should be one to watch. Having changed the white and red pieces into warriors of Light and Dark you basically play chess… The battle part comes into play when it allows you to enter a beat-em-up esque screen when you try to take another players piece; now it may just be me but I’m pretty sure the last time I played chess if your piece was taken, it was taken and that was it, none of this fighting to keep it jazz went on… maybe I’m just out of touch with the modern Chess generation.

Secondly we have the ever popular Kinect pushing out another shitbaby of a game. Fantastic Pets! Forgive me for being a bit pessimistic on this one, heck it’l be a hit with the kids but it just sounds like jumping on the Kinectimals bandwagon, giving you a big pet to play with to unlock games and events and such… No doubt it’ll sell a million like Sonic Free Riders did.

You too could be imagining your straddling this man!

UFC Personal Trainer has a release date of April 1st, which unfortunately could be true as that is a Friday, but lets hope its a very eagerly planned April fools. UFC:PT is exactly what it sounds like, a get fit program thats entirely UFC themed. No doubt this will sell to those who feel like Your Shape, EA Sports Active and Wii Fit are just too pussy for them and instead would love to get fit by imaginary grappling sweaty muscly men and lunging at their TV screen. Oh what an age we live in where you can do all this controller free!

Even the poster looks GTAish...

I’ll end on a game with potential, but like so many games that strike it lucky with the majority it will probably turn out awful. A game being developed by Deep Silver, who have published many games including Cursed Mountain, CrossworDS and Horse Life, so you know its in good hands… The game in question is Ride to Hell. In Ride to Hell you play a Vietnam war vet who has returned from duty in 1969 to the hippie revolution in America. Its penned as not for the feint hearted as your biker nam’ cliche also has horrific flashbacks and hallucinations that haunt him. Its set to be a free-roamer, probably in the vein of Red Dead Redemption and GTA. As I said, it could be potentially good but from the track record, and almost any game involving a ‘Nam Vet. thrust into the sandbox world needs a strong pair of legs to stand on.

Its obvious these games will sell, otherwise why make them, and I’m fully aware that they all do actually try something rather ambitious with their pitches. However not a single one actually tries something really all that new, nor do they exactly ooze temptation.

“Soul Calibur 5 anyone?”,  “No I’d rather play Battle Vs. Chess instead.”

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