Videogame Releases: Week of January 29th, 2012

January’s just about over, and that means we can finally get back to talking about new videogames! This week kicks off with two blockbuster sequels. That’s not a bad way to break the slump.

Soulcalibur V (360, PS3)

Welcome back to the stage of history! ‘Soulcalibur V’ is an exciting release for plenty of reasons, but prime among them is another chance to show up that friend of yours. Sure, he’s cheap and uses Nightmare every time, but you’ll soon show him the power of Cervantes. You can always go outside the traditional if you like and bring in ‘Assassin’s Creed’ lead Ezio.

It’s also worth noting that ‘Soulcalibur V’ has been included in the Evo fighting game championship series. After getting stomped by some jerk online, it’s nice to sit back and watch the pros go to town and show just what the game is capable of.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 (360, PS3)

There’s a lot going on with ‘Final Fantasy XIII-2’, including wild changes to the game mechanics. Some of the changes are clearly for the better, while others (like the addition of quick time events and the reintroduction of random battles) seem to be steps backwards.

One particularly interesting new aspect is the “Live Trigger” feature, which is just the ‘Final Fantasy’ way of saying that you’ll have dialogue options when talking to people. The thing that I find really cool about the dialogue trees is that they don’t have any real effect on the game. You can say the things you want to say without having to deal with mechanics depending on your choices. In other words, you don’t have to keep answering the same way just to get the bonus or spell that you want.

Finally, there’s the time travel element. The words “time travel” and “RPG” together in one sentence are enough to get any 16-bit era JRPG fan excited. Adding that to a ‘Final Fantasy’ game hits the nail of nostalgia right on the head. Time travel in ‘XIII-2’ sounds promising and lets you play in a less linear fashion. Just don’t go expecting ‘Chrono Trigger’, or you’ll be sorely disappointed.


  1. Darn! A Square rpg-game with the word “time travel” really got me excited. I haven’t played any of the FFs for the PS3 yet, but may have to pick up this one.

    Question, is there any difference between the XBox and the PS3 version? I know that usually games are made for one system and ported to the other. Any idea for which system this was designed for?

    • Tim

      With the first FFXIII it was superior on the PS3 in terms of overrall resolution (cutscenes and in-game). I believe the Xbox version had compressed textures and and cut scenes since they had to fit it on one DVD instead of a Bluray. It was originally a PS3 exclusive and then was later announced that it would be a dual release.

      I’m not sure about this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same scenario.

      • Thanks! Last FF game I played was 11 (unless you want to count Derige of Ceberus or however you spell it). I found both games to be simply horrible and it practically turned me off from the series, especially since X and X-2 left me disappointed (not bad, like the other two games I mentioned, just disappointing). I think I am willing, though, to try the series again. I loved Final Fantasy’s 4-9, and Chrono Trigger / Chrono Cross.

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