November has come once again to grace its presence upon the games industry. You can tell because every store that carries new games visibly sinks a little bit every Tuesday. So then, what jewel shall we find in this week’s pile of new games?
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
Halo 4 (Xbox 360)
Tuesday November 6, 2012
So, remember Master Chief? You know. The guy you play as in Halo 3. Back in 2007! Everyone’s favorite cyborg returns in Halo 4 having been in cryosleep for five years since the end of Halo 3. He wakes up to face new enemies of old that threatens the universe and another one far closer to the chief than any of his other adversaries. Basically, the guy just can’t catch a break.
The previous Halo, Halo: Reach introduced the armor abilities, and despite the fact that Reach took place well before any of the Halo games, only now does Master Chief starts using them. He’ll have access to various armor abilities of old like Holograms along with some new ones like the one that creates a portable, forward facing shield.
In terms of new, Halo 4 introduces the Prometheans. These guys act differently than the classic enemies of the Halo universe, the Covenant. Looks like you’ll have to contend with them too in addition to Promethean units. The little flying Watchers generally don’t fight you directly, but their supporting role for the Promethean army makes them hard to ignore. They shield enemy units, call for help, or even throw grenades back at you. These guys support the Knights who not only uses cover but can also activate those aforementioned portable shields or cloak their way across the battlefield.
New enemies mean new weapons. Master Chief will still find your standard human and covenant weapons, but he’ll also have the Promethean weapon, Scattershot. This shotgun-esque weapon shoots out bullets that can reflect off of surfaces. Like all Promethean weapons, enemies killed by it will disintegrate, which might matter given the Watcher’s healing capabilities. Since five years have passed, the humans have been building bigger, better weapons of war like the Mantis. This bipedal robot comes armed with a powerful machine gun for one arm and some kind of grenade launcher in the other. If that isn’t enough, it can stomp the crap out of anything that gets too close.
Yes, it has multiplayer. Yes, it has a perk system too. It even has the killcam. Whether or not that will deter hardcore Halo lovers who might feel somewhat betrayed that their favorite series has capitulated to the trends started by Call of Duty remains to be seen. But I’m guessing they’ll care far less when they’re playing Firefight’s replacement, Spartan Ops. These episodic co-op missions actually will have a side story and has you fighting through numerous enemies. 343 Industries, the developers, plans to dole out 10 of these Spartan Ops in the coming week.
Based on the various glowing reviews that came out almost a week ago now, Halo 4 looks poised to return Master Chief back to relevance after five years of dormancy. Who knows? Maybe we’ll finally see somebody give Activision a run for its money.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
Sunday November 11, 2012
I hope you’ve still got room for yet another Mario game! I thought I would never say anything like that, but this being the seventh Mario related game, including the Mario sports games, in the span of one year with an eighth coming alongside the Wii U, it becomes a fair statement. On the bright side, the Paper Mario series has been dormant for a while, so in that light, Paper Mario: Sticker Star constitutes as a breath of fresh air.
Sticker Star seems to be quite a departure from its predecessors. First up, Mario always fights solo. No friendly Koopa or Gomba to help you attack. No Boo Buddy to help you hide from attacks. None of that. Instead, you come into a fight with a predetermined amount of stickers. Each one either represents one of your basic attacks like stomp or hammer or a more powerful super attack, which takes up more space in you sticker inventory. Also, Mario doesn’t level. Or at least not in a traditional, grind your way to the next level by killing a bunch of enemies level. Instead, he must find special stickers that will increase his health and power.
As always, Bowser is involved, and Mario has to search for six Royal McGuff… Stickers to stop him from yada, yada, yada. Obviously the story won’t be doing anything new, but that’s never stopped us from loving the various Paper Mario games that have come out. This one probably won’t be any different.
Coming This Week
Monday November 5, 2012
Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! (3DS)
If you’ve ever wanted to create your own monstrosity and have it do a bunch of fetch quest or fight enemies in dungeons, obviously you wanted Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! without even knowing it. Here you get to make your own 2D monstrosity with legs, wheels, wings, or whatever you can think of and go out on colorful quest for other NPCs. It even has dungeons where you fight enemies. Oddly enough, you don’t actually control the battles. Your created character fights automatically for you. Unfortunately, I already know what your first created character will look like.
Tuesday November 6, 2012
History: Legends of War Patton (Xbox 360, PS3)
I don’t know how to feel about TV channels making games out of their shows. This strategy game just slaps on General Patton’s name for the sake of historical accuracy because everybody knows that war is fought on a turn by turn basis. For History channel. For shame.
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
Most racing games at least has the decency to make you turn right every now and again. NASCAR deprives you of this simple pleasure forcing you to only think about turning left for god-only knows how many times. It doesn’t matter that this game has all 23 licensed tracks. They all have the same course. Only the billboard signs differentiate one from the other.
Nickelodeon Dance 2 (Xbox 360 Kinect, Wii)
With all these dancing games cropping up all over, we’ve forgotten about our children. Nickelodeon remedies this all too tragic oversight with their second Nickelodeon Dance game so that little kids will not only know the lyrics to their favorite Nickelodeon show themes but also when to shake their hips and use spirit fingers.
Saints Row The Third: The Full Package (Xbox 360, PS3)
Like any game with DLC these days, Saint Row The Third gets its repackaging for the purposes of making their DLC available to the poor unfortunate souls without broadband connection. Or is this simply their way of keeping the game selling at $50?
LittleBigPlanet Karting (PS3)
Because trying to beat Mario at the platforming genre wasn’t enough, those sneak Sackboys are now trying to beat Mario at the karting genre. They might have chance too given how LittleBigPlanet Karting will also allow player to build not just tracks but entire games revolving around kart. You could say that LBPK represents a subsection of LittleBigPlanet 2. Namely the smaller part where karts are involved.
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning (3DS)
A lot like Call of Duty in some regards, the mere mention of the name Harvest Moon should automatically tell you what you’ll be doing in this game. Namely, farm, harvest, raise farm animals, sell, woo significant other, marry, the end. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning does all that but adds in customization, a first for the series. You can customize your looks and even the town you live nearby. Speaking of which, the town starts out in a near deserted fashion until your successes on the farm attracts new residents justifying the subtitle of the game. Happy toiling.
Nickelodeon Bubble Guppies (DS)
Let me get this straight. You’re all mermaids, but you have dogs. With fish tails. Horses, with fish tails. The Wild West complete with skies but underwater. Somehow I don’t think this mini-game laden game will explain to me just what Nickelodeon thinks underwater actually means given their track record.
Nickelodeon Team Umizoomi & Dora’s Fantastic Flight (DS)
Because Dora isn’t awesome enough on her own, Nickelodeon teams up both Dora and Team Umizoomi for their little adventure through generic places like jungles, beaches, and mountains. Just in case they’re still not awesome enough, you even get a customizable blimp. And if all these Nickelodeon characters isn’t enough, they’ll meet more Nickelodeon characters along the way like Diego and… other Nickelodeon characters. Forgive me for not keeping up with Nickelodeon characters. I’m no longer eight years old.
Poptropica Adventures (DS)
Ever heard of Poptropica? Unless you’re 10, you probably haven’t heard of it. This online game lets you explore various islands in a 2D platformer style with your own custom created character. That’s actually all there is to it. You simply go about the variously themed islands looking for stuff. At least the online version of this game is free. How in the world do they expect anybody to pay for the DS version?
Compilations of the Week
I thought I only needed this segment that one time. Nope.
Tuesday November 6, 2012
DragonBall Z Budokai HD Collection (Xbox 360, PS3)
You know that one of your iterations suck when it gets outright skipped in its compilation.
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3
Mass Effect Trilogy (Xbox 360)
Half of this compilation is worth owning. By that I mean the soon to be released PS3 version half given how that would mark the first time the original Mass Effect will be available on the PS3.
- Mass Effect
- Mass Effect 2
- Mass Effect 3
Midway Arcade Origins (Xbox 360, PS3)
If you can’t fill your compilation with great games, drowning it with a bunch of vintage games works too.
- Arch Rivals
- Championship Sprint
- Tournament Cyberball 2072
- Defender 2
- Gauntlet 2
- Joust 2
- Marble Madness
- Robotron 2084
- Root Beer Tapper
- Satan’s Hollow
- Smash TV
- Spy Hunter
- Spy Hunter 2
- Super Off Road
- Super Sprint
- Total Carnage
- Vindicators Part 2
- Wizard of Wor