Videogame Releases: Week of April 16th, 2011

Some weeks, it seems like we get nothing at all for new videogame releases. Other weeks… well, other weeks we get ‘Portal 2’, a new ‘Mortal Kombat’, and a release of the ‘Final Fantasy IV’ collection all at once.

Portal 2 (360, PC, PS3)

If you didn’t play ‘Portal’, go play it now. Buy it, install it, and play it. The game will take you around four hours to complete and this post will still be here when you get back. PC is preferred, but any system will work.

I can say, without exaggeration, that ‘Portal’ is one of the most important, influential and amazing games released in the first decade of the new millennium. It’s funny, it’s unique, and it’s incredibly clever. It even spawned several memes and a fantastic song by Jonathan Coulton.

‘Portal 2’ has a lot to live up to. New game mechanics have been brought in to keep things interesting, and J.K. Simmons was hired to do the voice work. Based on the commercials, this seems like a very good choice indeed.

(3:00 AM Update: I’ve played for an hour or so and I’m impressed. Stephen Merchant is hilarious, though no J.K. Simmons as of yet. There are some elements that really make ‘Portal 2’ feel like a Valve game instead of just a game that Valve worked on. Big fan so far. Expect a full review next week.)

I know that games are enjoyed subjectively, and what works for me may not work for you, but I’m just going to put it out there. If you own a PS3, PC, or XBox 360, you should buy ‘Portal 2’.

Mortal Kombat (360, PS3)

We’ve heard it all before. The new ‘Mortal Kombat’ is a reboot of the franchise built from the ground up. It will revitalize the series and make us forget all the crappy games that came before. It will take us back to the days where ‘Mortal Kombat’ was a relevant title.

Still, based on the small piece of the game that I got to sample at PAX and what I’ve heard from various podcasts and reviewers, it seems like ‘Mortal Kombat’ might actually be worth picking up.

Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection (PSP)

‘Final Fantasy IV’, which was released for the Super Nintendo as ‘Final Fantasy II’, is in my top five for ‘Final Fantasy’ titles. It’s definitely behind ‘Final Fantasy X’ and ‘Final Fantasy VI’, but where it fits in after that is hard to say. Somewhere between three and five anyway.

The point is that ‘Final Fantasy IV’ is a damn fine game, and the collection from Square Enix includes both the original title and ‘The After Years’, which is a follow-up made in 2008 that’s said to be pretty solid as well. If you don’t already own ‘Final Fantasy IV’ in other forms, get it here.


  1. Wow! Maybe we should have a poll to best Final Fantasy game! Here is my list from favorite to least favorite (out of the ones I have played)

    Mystic Crystal
    Dirge of Ceberus (yes, it is probably mispelled)

      • Duh, Mystic Quest, not Mystic Crystal! Second time in two days that I stand corrected! In my defense, it has been 18 years or so!

        I forgot about Tactics. I never got into it. I own it, and while it was neat, I never could get past even the first battle. Hardest Final Fantasy game EVER!

      • Oh, and I might have actually liked 11, but I bought the PC version the day it came out, and it had serious graphical bugs. The worst was that, if you walked more than a couple of feet, the camera would start spinning uncontrollably. I put in a bug report, and it turns out that it was an issue with everyone who had my model video card, and it took them three months to address it (got an e-mail when it was fixed). However, by that time I had already canceled my subscription and sold my copy of the game. If you have no control over the camera, the game is unplayable.

  2. no love for socom 4?? really.

    full deployment issue.

    for those of us who didnt have a move until now, who bought this because socom series is great, and wanted to see how good the move actually was.

    i feel slightly shafted this wasnt even given a nod its a very good game so far, and the move + sharpshooter is nifty but once calibration is finalized with my movements its gonna change things. for the better!

    i want a move update for black ops now :-p

  3. Yes Socom 4 should have been mentioned, but in the slew of similar games, I could care less, until Battlefield 3 comes out I’m done with most FPS shooters like Call of Duty, I still play some Halo because they made some awesome modes to keep things interesting, but stuff like Call of Duty just gives you new maps for too much money and nothing changes….boooorrring!

    Mortal Kombat on the other hand is absolutely fantastic, back to the great gameplay the originals had, this feels like a new game mixed with how Mortal Kombat II played back in the day, the fatalities are especially brutal and the game is amazingly violent, there is so much to do with your normal Arcade mode ladder, an actual story mode that retells the story from the first three games, tag modes, online leaderboards, matches, a king of the hill mode where you can actually watch the fights while you are waiting to play and of course the Krypt with TONS of unlockables and also added was the Challenge mode with over 300 challenges….this game was everything I was hoping for and more and I’ll be playing for a long time to come!

    • i picked up mortal kombat as well. it is pretty amazing the story is my focus right now at chapter 12 lookin forward to finishing it up.
      there is def alot to take in with mk, well worth the money, but maybe im blind or just dumb but aside from the tutorial how do you do fatalaties or find the code for them (and the other special moves) the move list has only basic moves and combos.

      ive been playing since mk1 im not a noob (get it. ha ha.) i know the stances and the way to do it all just dont seem to work for me. yet. (yes i know you cant do them in the story mode, i went through arcade twice and 2p)