Coming Soon! 6/18/2012

Happy belated Father’s Day everybody! I hope you enjoyed that tie you just got. I don’t know about you, but now I have something to use as a tourniquet when I shoot up. Of course I’m kidding about that, you narc. Anyways, I’m sure you’re wondering about what wonderful video games have come out this week. Please read on while I look for a clean spoon.

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

Honorable Mention

Pokémon Conquest (DS)

Monday June 18, 2012

Wait, what? What the hell are Pokémon characters doing hanging around samurais? Somehow the Pokémon Company and Tecmo Koei, the guys behind Nobunaga’s Ambition, got it in their heads that what their respective series needed to boost sales was a crossover between these two disparate series.

In the land of Ransei, Pokémon and samurais live harmoniously side by side. In fact, warriors would link themselves with Pokémons to fight in battle. Legend has it that if all 17 kingdoms of Ransei were to be conquered by one man, a legendary Pokémon will awaken, and the warlord Nobunaga will go to any length to do just that. As a new Pokémon trai…I mean, warrior, you must build your army of warriors and Pokémon to beat him to the punch lest the lands of Ransei fall to Nobunaga’s hands. What’s the difference between who conquers the kingdoms you might be wondering? The legend goes on to say that the legendary Pokémon reflects the heart of the conqueror. Take a guess as to what kind of a guy this Nobunaga is.

Instead of one on one battles between trainers and their stable of Pokémons, you send in your army of warriors with their linked Pokémons alongside you to fight opposing armies. In other words, this crossover plays like a Nobunaga’s Ambition game just with Pokémons thrown in for good measure. Each warrior can only link with one Pokémon, but certain Pokémons have a much stronger affinity with certain warriors and vice versa making for a stronger unit. Pokémon elemental strength and weaknesses apply here as well so you will have to be careful what units get sent into battle.

Outside of battle, Conquest also has you managing various elements and mechanics such as who you leave behind in your castle to protect it or keeping track of which warriors you send in battle. That last bit matters because warriors only fight once in any given in-game month. You can also train up Pokémons and warriors to evolve them or transform them in the case of a warrior to stronger versions.

The Nobunaga’s Ambition series doesn’t have much of a fanbase with the younger crowd given its normally complex systems and political machinations, and I doubt infusing it with Pokémon will change their minds on the matter, although I’m sure it will sucker in a good handful of them nonetheless. But then again, most people who wouldn’t give a second look at another Nobunaga’s Ambition game might actually notice this game simply because of its association with Pokémon. Hell, even I’m a little curious as to how this confluence can work.

Which button turns on the massage chair again?

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect)

Tuesday June 19, 2012

Steel Battalion has become truly infamous for exactly one reason: the 40+ button controller that would not look out of place if someone were to put it in a NASA control room. In what could only be described as the ultimate backpedaling, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor not only eschews that behemoth of a controller, it almost doesn’t use one.

Heavy Armor uses the standard Xbox 360 controller as well as the Kinect. The controller controls what you expect out of this mech game: Movement, aiming, firing, reloading. But the game also lets you stick your head out of the mech to look around, pull down the periscope to get a closer look, check on your crew members, change gears, self destruct, and beat the senses back into your panicky crew members. Those actions all have to be done with the Kinect.

How does a series go from having a diarrhea of buttons to one that nearly doesn’t use any? I’m almost more curious about that aspect than the future setting of the game where all computers stopped working setting back technology to the 40’s era.

Coming This Week

Tuesday June 19, 2012

Brave (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS)

What Pixar movie wouldn’t be complete without its accompanying Third Person Action Adventure game? Here we get to play as Merida, that frizzly red headed chick who has a knack for the bow and arrow, on her little adventures through Scottland. Sexist bastards need not apply.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS, Vita)

In this installment of LEGO franchised games, they’ve expanded the characters beyond the Batman universe and into DC’s pantheon of superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman. Moreover, this iteration will be breaking the various traditions of a LEGO game such as having voice acting and a full on open world. I wonder if all that will be enough to entice jaded LEGO gamers?

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