It’s a brutal week for videogame releases. ‘Rayman Legends’ was supposed to be released for the Wii U this week, but after Ubisoft’s controversial decision to hold the title back six months, we’re not left with much. Therefore, PC gamers and RPG/Atlus fans, step forward.
Brutal Legend (PC)
Remember when no one could destroy the metal? That was the hope of ‘Brutal Legend’, the odd lovechild from Tim Schafer and Jack Black. The game finally made release back in 2009 for the 360 and PS3, but only after Activision had dropped it, leaving EA to pick it up. That mess made for some serious legal fees, which may be why a PC version has come so late.
The game itself has moments of brilliance that it make it memorable (the title menu, for instance). Unfortunately, I don’t share the same level of enthusiasm for heavy metal that Jack Black has, and that’s before we get to the gameplay. The game just feels uneven, if not unfinished. The attempt to cross a third-person action title and a strategy game generally manages to rub players the wrong way. Yet it’s a game that should be played, flaws and all. For many, this value-priced PC version is the perfect opportunity.
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (3DS)
‘Legends of the Titan‘ is the latest from the ‘Etrian Odyssey’ series, but the first to be made for the 3DS (the first three were for the DS), and what a throwback game it is! The player forms a party of custom characters in order to navigate the uncharted world. That is, fighting random enemies, and the more dangerous wandering FOEs means taking the stylus and charting each grid square. The last game let players sail the waters, but now airship technology has been achieved. As with many hybrid throwback titles, this is a niche game, but 3DS fans in search of a different flavor of RPG may have a hard time putting this game down.
BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (PC)
‘Bit,Trip Runner’ is my favorite of the Bit.Trip games. It’s the kind of game that is often imitated, but seldom duplicated. Imagine playing ‘Temple Run’ but having precise control, a profile view and an occasionally infuriating difficulty that nonetheless spurns you to keep trying. Part of the joy of the first game is its simple (downloadable Wii game simple) visuals, incredible rhythm and instantaneous load times. While I’m not yet sold on the new game’s visual style, being designed with a gamepad in mind and incorporating various achievement systems should really benefit the title. XBLA, PS3 and eShop versions are due out later, once they escape certification. In the meantime, PC players can get addicted to the rhythm of Commander Video.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSN)
PlayStation owners get something rare and special this week in the form of the PSone Classic, ‘Persona 2: Eternal Punishment’. By all acclaim, this title (one of two ‘Persona 2’ games) is an incredible gem that has evaded the Western Market for far too long. The game stars Maya Amano, a reporter for a teen magazine, as she attempts to investigate the events surrounding the demonic trickster, The Joker, and his curse on Sumaru City, home to the Seven Sisters High School. This being ‘Persona’, that means fighting monsters in turn-based RPG style, and only the hardcore will be able to navigate to the final boss.