Christmas is a-coming. Can you feel it? Can you feel your game store filling up with games you’ve never heard of? Have you seen the annual signs yet like the Call of Duty or Professor Layton games lining store shelves? If you haven’t you’ll see one this week.
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
Assassin’s Creed III (Xbox 360, PS3)
Tuesday October 30, 2012
Tired of Renaissance era Europe? I think Ubisoft was too. No longer set in some fancy shmancy Italian city or Constantinople, Assassin’s Creed III takes us to the American Revolution era of Boston. Instead of Ezio, we get to muck around the memories of another assassin by the name of Radonhaa… Ratonhnehcay… Ratoonhawka… Kamehame… Connor Kenway. This half Native American, half English fellow has taken it upon itself to fight the tyranny of the redcoats and will ally himself with the likes of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, undoubtedly to fill the roll of Q/Leonardo Da Vinci.
Unlike Renaissance Era Italian cities or Constantinople, Revolution era Boston and its surrounding areas lack tall buildings of any kind, and even Boston itself span a much smaller area than Rome or Florence. This means Connor won’t be navigating the streets and rooftops of Boston nearly as much as the trees of the surrounding forests. Here Connor will prove his proficiency as a hunter given his ability to move through it silently and efficiently to track down his prey. Unfortunately for Connor, bears and wolves and various other aggressive animals will prey on him as well making every stroll through the woods an interesting one. Eventually, Connor will explore a large portion of the East Coast.
A first for the series, Connor will eventually have access to a ship, and it won’t just ferry Connor from location to location. He’ll have to take the ship into battle with other ships. Use your ship’s cannons to soften up the other ship before getting close to board them. Aside from the standard cannonballs, you can also opt to use chain cannonballs that can slow down an opponent ship or use flaming cannonballs that only work up-close. Like any ship of its day, the ship can only fire to its sides, which means making yourself a bigger target.
Assassin’s Creed ambitious story has took its sweet time back in the Ezio storyline, and it cost them a little bit of a dip in quality as seen from Assassin’s Creed Revelations. AC3 looks poised to raise that bar back up to the high of Assassin’s Creed II with new settings and characters.
Assassin’s Creed III Liberation (Vita)
Tuesday October 30, 2012
Having Assassin’s Creed III in just about every household this coming Tuesday doesn’t seem enough for Ubisoft. They must have you outside as well.
Despite the three in the title, Assassin’s Creed III Liberation stars an entirely new character and a new setting. Set around the time of the American Revolution, the Spanish have started to take over New Orleans, and according to the trailer, they were taking the original residents as slaves. That didn’t sit well with New Orlean native, Aveline de Grandpré. She takes up the cause of the Assassin to free her city and, as it turns out, to wreck the plans of the Templars.
Despite the Vita’s lack of horsepower compared to that of a home console, Ubisoft promised us that Liberation would be very similar to AC3 in terms of animation, look, and just general feel since the two run on the same engine. That doesn’t mean Liberation will play exactly like AC3 though. Liberation sports the same Mark and Execute mechanic as the one found in Splinter Cell Conviction. A quick refresher, Mark and Execute lets you mark specific enemies so when you push the execute button your character will dispatch them in rapid succession. Thanks to the Vita’s touch screen though, you just have to tap on the enemies you want to mark. Convenient.
I don’t entirely care what the gender of my character is. I’m just glad they finally decided to make her wear a costume that doesn’t entirely stand out in a crowd by the very virtue of not having her wear that stupid hoodie costume that they got stuck with ever since AC1.
Coming This Week
Tuesday October 30, 2012
Bratz: Fashion Boutique (3DS, DS)
If hunting games can have a story, why not fashion games? Those Bratz girls have taken upon themselves to save their mall by selling clothes in a boutique, because boutique shops make so much money.
Lalaloopsy Carnival of Friends (3DS, DS)
Remember rag dolls? Those little dolls that can barely hold up their own heads. Turns out they’ve made a resurgence thanks to the Lalaloopsy line of rag dolls, and like every good kids toys trends these days, they’re getting yet another 3DS/DS game. Just in case the first game last year didn’t sate your need to play as little rag dolls on your handhelds.
LEGO The Lord of the Rings (3DS, DS, Vita)
In all honesty, I probably should have seen this coming. The LEGO-ification of our favorite pop culture story continues with The Lord of the Rings story. You get to play through select moments of the three movies LEGO style complete with spoken dialogue. If you’re expecting something radically different from the other LEGO game and not say reliving your favorite moments from the movies in LEGO form, look elsewhere.
Moshi Monsters Moshlings Theme Park (3DS, DS)
Ever want to put cute little monsters on a roller coaster ride to see what they would puke up? Unfortunately, that feature remains absent in this mini-game collection involving those online collectible monsters and apparently a theme park.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (Xbox 360, PS3)
Ever wished you could run away from the cops in an open world game with a good driving engine? Give Need for Speed: Most Wanted a shot. This iteration comes injected with Burnout Paradise giving you the open world freedom to explore a city and to run away from cops whenever you feel like it. If what you’re really hoping for is a Paradise sequel, you still should give this game a look given how Criterion Games, as in the guys behind Paradise, developed Most Wanted.
The Trash Pack (3DS, DS)
… and to counteract all that cute nonsense that pervades just about every other kids toys, we get the likes of the Trash Pack. This figurine series all represent the junk and tossed away table scrap you find in trash. Lovely. What’s more we get a four-mini-game game starring the “lovable” Trash Pack just so they can spread their brand outside of the action figure aisle.
Toy Story Mania (Xbox 360 Kinect, PS3 Move)
Doesn’t Woody have a face that’s simply asking to be shot at? Perhaps that sentiment might explain this licensed, gallery shooter, mini-game collection without any discernable timing to it.
Transformers Prime: The Game (Wii, 3DS, DS)
People sure love their folding robots. Based off the ongoing cartoon series, this third person shooter has you playing as your favorite Transformers as they battle Megatron. I swear that’s basically the description for anything even remotely Transformers related.
Wreck-It Ralph (Wii, 3DS, DS)
Although not nearly as mind bending as Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game, Wreck-It Ralph, as in the game based off the movie about games, has you playing as both Wreck-It Ralph and Fix-It Felix. Taking place after the movie, Ralph and Felix must rescue his gaming friends from the Cy-bugs before they… get eaten I guess. Jump, punch, and fix your way to victory!
WWE ’13 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
When someone came up with the concept of a soap opera but with muscle bound men, surely everyone around him laughed him out of the room. That is until that guy makes millions upon million of dollars. Now here we are with the umpteenth iteration of a WWE game. This one sports the retelling of the Attitude Era of the late 90’s, which I’m told was a very big deal in the wrestling world. Just try not to pop a vein in your neck the next time you flex your muscles.
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (Xbox 360 Kinect)
Remember that Dragon Ball Z fighting game that came out a couple weeks back where you bust out Dragon Ball Z moves in front of your TV to make you guy do Dragon Ball Z attacks? Just replace all references to DBZ with Marvel heroes and its universe, and you get Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth.
Nike+ Kinect Training (Xbox 360 Kinect)
Nike found a nice little niche with the goal-oriented crowd, i.e. gamers, with their Nike+ system that employs pedometers and MP3 players to track user workouts. The Kinect gives the system even more inputs making the system better able to track your progress. Not a bad way for someone who’s into the whole Nike+ thing and has an Xbox 360 and a Kinect.
Karaoke Joysound (Wii)
Most Karaoke games try to beat each other out with exclusive songs and/or just sheer volume of songs to choose from. Karaoke Joysound, stupid name by the way, may not have much in terms of exclusivity, but it does beat out the rest through a little thing called the internet. Instead of offering DLC, Joysound lets you stream any song on their catalogue on top of the various songs included on disc. Instead of paying per song, you pay per day for those extended karaoke sessions. Just try not to lose your voice.
Hello Kitty Picnic (3DS)
I never could figure out what people see in that mouthless cat? You can barely tell that it’s a cat at all. For those who does see the appeal of this “cat” will be happy to hear they get to play 10, picnic themed mini-games along with Kitty’s various friends (read the other monstrosities Sanrio dreamed up).
Am I the only one who just found out that there was another ThunderCats show on Cartoon Network last year? Thanks to that show we got a nice little 2D platformer out of it. Let’s see if this game will help give the show a second season.
Winx Club: Magical Fairy Party (DS)
Let’s see here. Little girls like dress-up, planning parties, and sparkly things, right? But other games have all of that. What can we do to differentiate ours? Faeries? Works for me. Based on the TV show, this little game will make you the girliest girl in your whole class, or office. I recommend putting on a tutu for absolute girly overload.
Ragnarok Odyssey (Vita)
Japan sure loves their Nordic mythology. Especially in their role playing games, action style or otherwise. Set in the same world as the MMO Ragnarok Online, Ragnarok Odyssey has you taking down screen filling monsters with up to three friends. If this sounds overly familiar and it bothers you, you should try to erase any traces of Monster Hunter to find some relief.
Smart As… (Vita)
Remember the Brain Age craze half a decade ago? It’s effects could still be felt today with the most recent one being Smart As… This one does differentiate itself by using the Near functionality to rate how smart you are to people around you as well as the world. That is if you can even find anyone near you that’s playing the game to compare yourself against.
Compilations of the Week
I thought I only needed this segment that one time. Nope.
Tuesday October 30, 2012
Tekken 6 and SoulCalibur 4 Bundle (Xbox 360, PS3)
Well, at least they’re both fighters
- Tekken 6
- SoulCalibur 4
Zone of the Enders HD Collection (Xbox 360, PS3)
Now we’re talking. Taking two previously non-HD titles and giving it the up-res treatment definitely counts as a worthy compilation.
- Zone of the Enders
- Zone of the Enders 2
Rockstar Games Collection: Edition 1 (PS3)
Intriguing. A collection of a studio’s best works could work as a compilation. Preferably for a lesser known studio whose collective work didn’t reach a wide enough audience and not for one whose work everyone already owns.
- Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City
- L.A. Noire
- Midnight Club: Los Angeles (Complete Edition)
- Red Dead Redemption
Namco Museum/PacMan World 3 Bundle (DS)
Wow, we’re not even bothering with bundling things in the same franchise anymore are we?
- Namco Museum
- PacMan World 3