Written by Randy Kalista on 7/31/2007 for
Several upcoming games are bringing war to America soil, so the Trailer Park is updating its passport and getting the heck outta Dodge. We look at a contender for the glossy JRPG crown, an England that can't catch a break when it comes to apocalypses of Hollywood-sized proportions, that same island-nation equating bloodbaths with epic poetry, a trip across the English Channel for a little-known bicycle race in France, and J.J. Abrams' Hawaiian masterpiece getting the digital treatment.
White Knight Story Cinematic Trailer
In Japan, J-pop permeates every square inch of the entertainment culture: Anime, in-store music, commercials, movies, radio shows, TV shows, and of course video games. And I still think it's putrid. (Hey, I hate American bubblegum pop too, and you won't see me apologizing for that either.) Otherwise, every other glistening Japanese RPG stereotype is present and accounted for: Androgynous, spiky-haired protagonist (check); Gundam-sized suits of armor (check); air ships (check); a token cutesy-hybridized-animal-sidekick thingy (check); and epic-sized bad guys that blackout the sky (double-check!) Turn off the volume and you've got some rich-fantasy set pieces, a beauty-pageant roll call, and a game that just might knock an elitist right off their Final Fantasy high-horse. Rating: B-
Hellgate: London E3 2007 Trailer
The narrative script is downright Biblical, and not just in subject matter alone. Fable-driven watercolor paintings interweave with atheistic, neo-medieval knighthood to write an entirely new, dystopian tale of King Arthur's court, backdropped by a entropy-ridden London posing as Hell on Earth. If this is what happens when you mash-up broken ideology with shoot-em-up bang-bang gameplay, then color me a believer. Rating: B+
Based on Robert Zemeckis' upcoming Beowulf film, this Ubisoft production will hit barbarian shores well ahead of the Conan renaissance. Beowulf's charcoal-burnt skies, greasy real-world fantasy chops, and blades of gory sanguine-soaked arenas are exactly what the hack-and-slash doctor ordered. During its closing arguments, the slow-mo snap, crackle, and pop is corny, but makes no bones about the waist-deep combat system. Rating: C-
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 Around the World: Tour de France Trailer
These comedic vignettes are brilliant -- and nobody (nobody!) was expecting that near-psychotic last few seconds. All these little guys have to do is scream "Baaaaaaaaaaah!" and it makes any situation 1,000 percent more hilarious. No other game videos out there are even fractionally as funny as these Around the World segments (leading and ending with the Daft Punk song is perfect every time). Rating: B-
Lost Debut Trailer
It's impossible not to arrive at a trailer of ABC's Lost game and not have a lot of personal baggage already loaded. It's likewise impossible to silence all the questions that immediately surface. Will we play the TV show, propelled by Myst-style puzzles? Will it be filled with mini-games like "Hit X Repeatedly To Keep Hurley Away From The Rations"? Can we flash back to Hitman-style scenarios when Jin was working for Sun's father? Will Josh Holloway play a snarky Sawyer, or will he schizophrenically flash over to his recent role in Command and Conquer 3 as an equally snarky Nod Intelligence Officer? But seriously, how will a game present one of the most watched shows on television as refreshed video game material? But finally, is there no end to the TV and movie licenses that Ubisoft will take on?
Pull into the Trailer Park again next week as we hitch up another handful of game videos.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Randy gravitates toward anything open-world, story-centric, character-driven, or reimagined. He prefers strategy over shooting, instrospection over action, and stealth and survival over looting and grinding. A few of his favorites are Red Dead Redemption, EVE Online, and Morrowind. He lives with his wife and daughter in Oregon. View Profile