At first glance, this week may look like a summer lull for videogames. However, further inspection reveals the first installment in over a decade for one of the all-time great Japanese RPGs. And that’s just one of several intriguing titles that hit the streets this week.
Dynasty Warriors 8 (360, PS3)
To consider ‘Dynasty Warriors 8‘, I have to flash back to the first year of the PS2. ‘Dynasty Warriors 2′ was truly a next-gen game. The combination of epic battles and invigorating, button mashing-combat with the saga of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms made for an incredible game that we hadn’t seen the likes of in the previous generation.
These days, Koei has taken that formula and applied it to a number of franchises, including ‘Samurai Warriors’ and ‘Gundam’. The problem is that, as much as the formula gets tweaked, the games remain the same. Basically, you try to get through each battle by defeating the boss without dying or missing an important victory condition, and while trying to unlock all characters, weapons, etc. Still, if you’ve been away for a few years or have never tried one of these games, you’re missing out. Nothing else stacks up to the magnificence of taking on thousands of soldiers in the varied and intense battles of ‘Dynasty Warriors’. Plus, how often can you try the eighth installment of a game series without having to worry that you’ve missed out on the story of the prior installments?
Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS)
After more than a decade, the inconceivable has happened – there’s a new ‘Shin Megami Tensei’ game, and it isn’t a spin-off. What we can expect from ‘Shin Megami Tensei IV‘ is a Japan fraught with demons. Naturally, people attempt to control demons, but are often in fact controlled by those demons. Unlike the incredibly popular ‘Persona’ series, this is not a game about a high school, which raises my interest level. That said, the game is supposed to be incredibly brutal, with your party frequently wiping out. Anyone who might be interested in a brutal JRPG on the 3DS should step right up, especially with a $30 eShop bonus for owners of this game and the recent ‘Fire Emblem’.
Time and Eternity (PS3)
In the action RPG ‘Time and Eternity‘, Toki is all set to get married when, on the day of her wedding, her betrothed is attacked and killed by ninjas. This event incites Toki to utilize her time-traveling, gun-toting and knife-wielding ways. Playing as Toki, players will be treated to hand-animated characters, which may be the biggest draw. In addition to her knife and gun, Toki contains the spirit of Towa, who is the closest thing to another playable character. My interest level for this game is fairly weak, as it seems mired in some unimpressive anime tropes. Nevertheless, I appreciate that the title was brought over to the U.S., even if it took a year for that happen.
Turbo: Super Stunt Squad (360, PS3, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, DS)
The nicest thing that I can say about Ryan Reynolds is that he’s annoying. Way to go, Green Lantern. ‘Turbo: Super Stunt Squad‘ is the tie-in game for DreamWorks’ cute snail movie, ‘Turbo’. Rather than illustrate how basic the multiplatform game seems to be, I think I’ll just wish that the SNES classic ‘Uniracers’/'Unirally’ had been better recognized, and was due for a Virtual Console release.