Coming Soon! 2/6/2012

When did the video game industry decided to use February as a sort of video gaming floodgate? January had zero releases. But come February and everything comes out faster than you can say “But I’m not done with Skyrim.” You better be! Because this week, another reportedly 100 hour RPG hits store shelves. If that’s too much, maybe a sequel ought to a four-year-old shooter with demonic tentacles ought to do it. No? Fine, go play the Resident Evil 6 stop gap then.

Remember. Release dates are quite literally made at the whims of the publisher.  The following are subject to change without any warning.

Releases To Watch For This Week

Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS)

Tuesday February 7, 2012

Oh noes! Resident Evil 6 won’t come out until November. Whatever shall I do? I suppose Resident Evil: Revelations will have to do.

Set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5, long time RE alumni, Jill Valentine is searching for her old partner and friend, Chris Redfield whose last known location was on a ship adrift in the seas. Once Jill got to the ship, she finds it overrun with monsters. Big surprise.

Revelations plays very much like RE 5 with all the action taking place on the top screen while the touch screen lets you change weapons, use a healing item, and other general inventory stuff. Even though the 3DS doesn’t have a second circle pad (unless you have the Circle Pad Pro that is), Jill will be able to move and shoot at the same time. Moving, shooting, AND aiming at the same time, however, remains elusive to the series.

The RE series have been moving away from its horror roots ever since RE 4. Revelations appears to be moving back towards it with its eerie atmosphere and even some of the callbacks to pre-RE4 games like the mansion-esque rooms despite being on a ship. How any of these horror elements will work on a portable, arguably the worst system to put a horror game in, remains to be seen.

Honorable Mention

The Darkness II (Xbox 360, PS3)

Tuesday February 7, 2012

How does one top dual-wielding? How about tri-wielding? Nah, too phallic. Quad-wielding? Perfect! The original, and only, innovator of quad-wielding, Jackie Estacado returns in this sequel. Like before, Jackie still has a little thing attached to him called The Darkness, which gives him unholy powers of darkness and two helpful snake-like appendages that can be used for any number of things, hence the quad-wielding. They can help him move stuff around or break open gates, but mostly they rip people’s heads off before spitting out the head like a watermelon seed.

As Jackie grows in power, he gains new abilities such as new executions, the ability to carry more ammo, new tactics, and even a little helper called a Darkling. This little hell monkey can sneak around and rip people’s throats from behind saving you the trouble. It’s also got its own personality reminding you just how close you are to going to hell for everything you’ve done/are currently doing

In the previous game, he managed to seal The Darkness within himself, but recent assassination attempts on his own life has let loose The Darkness once again. Now Jackie has need of its powers once again as he must uncover the threat against him

Like before, Jackie’s trip will be a bloody one filled with gunfights, badass one liners, and the occasional inner struggle against The Darkness that’s constantly trying to drag him to hell. The first game became a sort of a sleeper hit not only because of these aspects but also because of the open world-ish structure in place. Television sets played actual TV shows in full. The subway train ran on schedule, and just hanging out with Jackie’s then girlfriend became oddly satisfying in its own right. Previews don’t normally cover those parts of the gameplay, but they made the first Darkness unique. Let’s see if they included something similar here as well.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Xbox 360, PS3)

Tuesday February 7, 2012

If you had millions of dollars to burn, would you want to make a video game? Former baseball star, Curt Schilling did. Instead of living luxuriously on some private island somewhere smoking cigars lit by hundred dollar bills, Schilling rounded up some rather talented developers and writers to help him make a game. Although they originally set out to make an MMO, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning turned into a single player Action Role Playing Game with a slight touch of Devil May Cry.

The immortal Fae has besieged the lands of Amalur. To combat this threat, the mortals researched the secrets of immortality only to be thwarted by failure after failure, but then, you woke up among the piles of these “failures” with no memories of who you are. I guess this means you’ll have to save Amalur from destruction.

Kingdoms of Amalur has a lot of the basic tropes found in most fantasy medieval-based RPGs. You have various races like humans, gnomes, elves, and whatnot. You have magic, bows, swords, and alchemy among other things. You have a good amount of freedom in the development of your customizable character including what type of fighter it will be (might based, magic based, stealth based, or any combination of the three). You’ll find plenty of side quests and whatnot to distract you from your ultimate goal. The combat, however, follows a different path.

When was the last time you played an RPG where the way you input your attacks matter? Action games like Devil May Cry and God of War has certain attacks that requires some rather complicated button presses including directional inputs, pauses between inputs, and even what state the enemy is in. Amalur’s combat incorporates some of these things regardless of what kind of character you’ve made, although the pacing of the battles never reaches the likes of Devil May Cry.

Although Schilling amassed a dream team of sorts to create this game, that doesn’t necessarily mean what they created will be any good. The demo, bugs and glitches aside, left a very good impression on most, but whether the overall package will be any good or not depends largely on what happens pass the demo, which stops 45 minutes pass the opening tutorial section. We shall see.

Coming This Week

Tuesday February 7, 2012

Fallout: New Vegas (Ultimate Edition) (Xbox 360, PS3)

Now that you’ve finished Skyrim(?), why don’t you try another Skyrim-like RPG but with guns? Fallout: just about every critic lauded New Vegas in existence despite the overwhelming number of bugs and glitches in it. Sounds familiar? This Ultimate Edition comes with every DLC pack for it including Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, Courier’s Stash, and Gun Runners’ Arsenal. I wonder if there is such a thing as Bethesda style RPG overdose?

Jak and Daxter Collection (PS3)

And the HD Remake train just keeps going. This time we have the mascot platformer era Jak and Daxter games including Jak and Daxter, Jak II, and Jak III. Poor Daxter. Despite showing up in all three games, Daxter only gets recognition in one of them.

Wednesday February 8, 2012

Myst (3DS)

Oh Myst! How I remember spending hours at a time sitting in front of my old ass Mac Performa trying to figure out what the time to set the clock tower to get it to open its doors. I would love to see this game remade with 3D graphics and in 3-D. This game sounds utterly, utterly perfect aside for the fact that the entire game is a port of the original non-3D game and is played entirely on the touch screen leaving the 3-D screen on top with nothing to show but a title card so you always know what game you’re playing that very moment. Ports cannot get any lazier than this.

Jewel Link Chronicles: Mountains of Madness (DS)

How did this happen? How did the almighty Adventure game genre fall from such great heights as The Secret of Monkey Island all the way down to the likes of this? In between adventure game style exploration of static screens, you play find the Hidden Object games and Match Three puzzle games, because these two matches so well with your journey to safety atop a snowy mountain. Sigh.

Friday February 10, 2012

Outdoors Unlimited (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)

No genre can escape the hunting genre’s thirst for genre blending. Like the RPG genre, the hunting genre has blended itself with a bunch of other genres that normally wouldn’t even associate itself with the hunting genre. In the case of Outdoors Unlimited, the hunting genre gets into a three way blending with the fishing genre and the mini-game collection, all of which with an overlay of an RPG-esque system. Run match three puzzle games! Run if you know what’s good for you.

Sunday February 12, 2012

Zumba Fitness Rush (Xbox 360 Kinect)

Not wanting to be tied down to the “limitations” of the other motion controllers, this dancercise game saw fit to make an Xbox 360 exclusive game loaded with exclusive content. I’ve no clue what that actually means.

Late to the Party

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (3DS) 1/31/2012 (Whoops)

thinkSMART Chess for Kids (DS) 2/7/2012

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