2010 Recap Archives

Earthworm Jim HD

Earthworm Jim battles specters in Heck.

Earthworm Jim arrives on the XBox 360 with enhanced graphics and extra play modes. After all of these years, how does the 16-bit platformer hold up? The Local Ditch finds out.

Oh, Xbox Live, how you’ve enabled me to relive the missed games of my youth. Welcome to the club, Earthworm Jim. Back in the 16-bit days, I had EJ2 for my Genesis, but never the first one.

So, how do I view it with modern day eyes? I really had to step back and get in the right mindset to play this one. I’ve grown accustomed to the auto-saves and constant progress of modern games. It’s a bit of a blast from the past to go into a game that’s designed to last for a few hours and be played from the very beginning every time that it’s started. (more…)

Perfect Dark

Perfect Darks protagonist: Joanna Dark

Another trek down missed memory lane via XBOX Live gives me the chance to finally put some time into Perfect Dark. Do the high resolution graphics make up for the antiquated game structure?

Another trek down missed memory lane via XBOX Live gives me the chance to finally put some time into Perfect Dark. Sure, I think I’d played it before with friends at one point or another, usually ending with me swearing profusely about getting my ass kicked in the multiplayer.

But now, this digital remastering of Perfect Dark gives me a chance to prove that had I actually properly put time into the game, I wouldn’t be so rubbish at it. No, I don’t believe what I just said either. (more…)

Dead Space

A necromorph lurks behind Isaac in Dead Space.

Dead Space, the 2008, third-person, sci-fi shooter, is a solid contribution its genre, but it continually reminds me of other games.

Hey, wasn’t Dead Space 2 released just a few days ago? When I finally got a hold of an XBOX over the summer, I had to get a couple of games. Those were Burnout Paradise and Dead Space. In hindsight, I’m not really sure why I chose them. I think a large part of it was that I wanted to experience what the PS3/360 generation had brought to the gaming world.

So, I started Dead Space and I couldn’t read a goddamn thing on the screen. (more…)

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (Demo)

Loop-de-loops in Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

After years of Sega announcing that Sonic has returned to his roots, it finally happens. Sonic’s back in a solo 2D platforming adventure, but despite the appearance, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 seems lacking.

Sonic the Hedgehog, I like to remember you in your glory years. Your original Genesis games are some of the best sidescrollers I’ve ever played. The sheer size of Sonic 3 and Knuckles is amazing.

The Saturn years were rough. Sonic 3D Blast was probably a sign that the end was in sight. The Dreamcast’s Sonic Adventure was the series’ last hurrah. Blazing fast Sonic levels, an exploration hub, big stories with different points of view told from each character – it all really created an experience. (more…)

Rock Band 2

Rock Band 2

In the world of plastic instrument games, there’s Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero III, Guitar Hero V, Band Hero, DJ Hero, and of course, the Rock Band series. The Local Ditch takes a look at what is special about Rock Band 2.

Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero 2, Guitar Hero 3… Rock Band. RB was the game changer in the rhythm genre. Drums, vocals, guitars, bass – it was all here in one package.

I didn’t play Rock Band. I was late to the party. Instead, I had just been exposed to the plastic instrument craze via Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock for the PS2. Yes, 2007 was a big year for me, finally getting a PS2 and jumping, or so I felt, into the modern world of games. (more…)

Rez HD

8, 7, 6... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Rez.

That game called Rez finally gets the mass availability that it deserves on the Xbox 360. In this rundown, The Local ditch checks out the new features to see if Rez HD is a worthy release.

Rez, Sega’s techno shooter tale of self-awareness and kinesthesia, saw a limited release on the Dreamcast and PS2 in 2001. In 2008, mass availability finally happened when the game arrived on Xbox Live and was later packed with Lumines Live and E4 in the Qubed set.

I like Rez. Rez is still Rez. Rez is still good. The selling point, of course, is that the game is in HD, with enhanced resolutions and a 5.1 channel mix. No doubt, the additions complement the game. The sharper images give the Tron-like world a nice clarity, while extra effects, like bloom, help push the game’s visuals over the top. (more…)



Ever get the urge to just shoot the shit out of over-the-top, cell-shaded rednecks in a post-apocalyptic world? Then Borderlands is the game for you.

Borderlands – Time killer of the year? Possibly. The stat-based desert shooter first captured my attention with its art style. Then, the winter bombardment started. Much like the rest of the world, I’d seen too many holiday commercials showcasing the game’s psychotic inhabitants while blaring Cage the Elephant in the background. Regardless, I was still interested. The Steam sale, however, was what finally pushed me over the edge. (more…)