Take notice, comic book fans. This week sees Superman seize control in an act of injustice while Batman is forced to ally with some of his most villainous rogues. Meanwhile, fantasy RPGs take hold of the rest of this week’s videogame releases.
Along with the below games, Vita owners should also check out the ‘Soul Sacrifice‘ demo.
Injustice: Gods Among Us (360, PS3, Wii U, iOS)
‘Injustice: Gods Among Us‘ is one of the more duplicitous games in recent memory. The endeavor represents one of the better takes on the DC Universe, but by incorporating so many storied characters, ‘Injustice’ risks alienating fans. NetherRealm Studios has sought to bring the latest refinement of the ‘Mortal Kombat’ fighting play-style to comic book characters, but again, fighting games are by nature polarizing titles even for fans of the genre.
The game’s plot sees Superman and Batman at odds over a world where the Joker managed to destroy Metropolis and cause the death of a pregnant Lois Lane, thus pushing Superman over the edge. In addition to the roster of 24 playable characters full of DC heroes and villains, each with character-accented combos, specials and a new character trait, the game’s interactive multi-tiered stages are themed from famous DC universe locations. Parts of the interactive stages include cameos from other DC characters, with opponent damaging results. As with the past decade of ‘Mortal Kombat’ titles, this game is supplemented with various sub-stages to help fill out the single player gameplay.
Anyone with an interest in DC characters should consider getting into ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’. Those interested in playing can check out both the 360 and PS3 demos, and the fremium iOS version.
Pandora’s Tower (Wii)
The Wii continues to get a trickle of games, and ‘Pandora’s Tower‘ has a serious reputation among RPG fans. The game was released almost two years ago in Japan and last year in the EU, and is only now coming to the U.S. after fans pleaded with both Nintendo and publisher Xseed Games. This title is of course Wii U compatible, but be prepared for SD-grade visuals.
As an action RPG, the combat is real-time and the game is filled with puzzles. Playing as Aeron, the goal is to retrieve the flesh from the (boss) monsters at the end of 13 towers and feed them to Elena before she becomes a monster herself. That brief little snippet will either intrigue genre fans or turn them away. The game has multiple endings and a time mechanic that encourages players to progress lest Elena turn into a monster. ‘Pandora’s Tower’ isn’t exactly an old-school RPG, but still feels like it belongs as part of a vanishing genre. I recommend supporting it for anyone interested in Japanese action RPGs.
Sacred Citadel (XBLA, PSN, PC)
‘Sacred Citadel’ hails from SouthEnd Interactive and exists to restore the joy of yesterday from games like ‘Golden Axe’. Up to three players can cooperatively attempt to restore peace to the conflict-fraught land of Ancaria using four character classes, including the Seraphim Mage, Safiri Warrior, Ancarian Ranger and Khukuri Shaman. A big selling point for the game is the RPG customization available for each class. Also, characters can wield dual weapons. The art style is very slick, but for me this is just the kind of game to play with friends. Not unlike ‘Scott Pilgrim’ or ‘Castle Crashers’, most anyone can pick and play these games, and the joy comes from playing together. The arcades may be gone, but the co-op beat ’em up still thrives.
Dragon Fantasy Book I (PS3, PS Vita)
‘Dragon Fantasy’ has been available on the PC, Mac and iOS for years. This latest iteration not only boasts some new content and PS specific features, but also sets the mood for the upcoming sequel this summer. As a PlayStation title, ‘Dragon Fantasy Book I’ brings its old-school RPG-style charm to PSN with PS3 and PS Vita cross-play and cross-buy. (One purchase nets both versions.) Naturally, this version includes trophy support, but even better is the ability to switch on the fly between the games’ original 8-bit style and a new 16-bit style, complete with new audio and sound effects. The game also features a new tower of trials dungeon.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (3DS)
I nearly forgot, there is one more RPG on tap for this week. This time were channeling the PSone/SEGA Satrun era. ‘Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers’ is a 3DS remake. Even though the remake treatment is slight, ‘Soul Hackers’ seems a lot more accessible than the ‘Persona’ series and the difficulty level should help the less hardcore RPG player. In the game, the player’s friend Hitomi is possessed by the demon Nemissa, giving the friend a dual personality. Playing with and against demons and is a huge part of the game, and it is almost a shame that ‘Soul Hackers’ has not yet made it to PS Vita or iOS.