Videogame Releases: Week of July 15th, 2012

Videogame Releases: Week of July 15th, 2012

A ruinous week of summer videogame releases is upon us. Fortunately, a few re-releases, including one set in a galaxy far, far away, help to bolster this week’s lineup.

Heroes of Ruin (3DS)

Square Enix continues its tradition of cooperative fantasy games on Nintendo handhelds with ‘Heroes of Ruin.’ On the surface, ‘Heroes of Ruin’ brings third-person hack-and-slash play to the 3DS, allowing a portable need to loot items and gear, customize a hero, and in general, raid dungeons. This is diverting enough for, say, a layover in an airport, but the heart of this game is in the multiplayer mode.

Group up to four people locally or online and the game’s true purpose will become clear. The ‘Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle’ titles for the DS, ‘Echoes of Time‘ and ‘Ring of Fates‘, were excellent local multiplayer games, which bodes well for ‘Heroes of Ruin’, even if it skews more towards a ‘Diablo’ style of dungeon crawling. The game’s difficulty scales based on the number of players, so playing cooperatively should be both challenging and fun.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I & II (PC)

This is a perfect week to release the ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Collection‘, which bundles the first and second games together for the PC. ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’ was an instant classic when it was released for the original Xbox. For some fans, BioWare succeeded where countless other ‘Star Wars’ adaptations failed by delivering a compelling story in a fascinating universe. At the same time, the game also engaged players with a light/dark morality system, and signature BioWare conversation and combat systems. Developed by Obsidian, the sequel, ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords’, was a letdown in the sophomoric slump sense. Too many party members, a rushed endgame, and a story far too wrapped up in the events of the first title mar what is still a good game that few have a had a chance to play despite the launch of ‘The Old Republic’ MMO.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD (XBLA)

‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD’ is both a great introduction to the series at its best, and very nostalgic for fans of the first two titles. The closest that I’ve ever come to playing a Tony Hawk game was the skateboarding mode in ‘Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance’, which was pretty awful. Even so, I may give this download a shot. The levels were chosen after Tony Hawk asked his Twitter followers which levels they’d like to see. The gameplay has been honed from Neversoft’s original code, while the animation has been brought up to date and in line with the HD makeover. PC and PSN versions are likely to follow in the next month or two.

Dyad (PSN)

‘Dyad’ is all about surreal and psychedelic rhythmic gameplay. ‘Dyad’ is also difficult to separate conceptually from ‘Rez’. The player controls a luminescent squid-looking creature, which proceeds down a roughly tunnel-shaped luminescent playing area. As the player times the squid creature’s hits with the stream of psychedelic targets, lights and sounds are activated, which cause the playing area and soundtrack to increase in psychedelic activity. Behind all the rad visuals is a tight three-hit system inspired by ‘Tetris Attack’. It would seem that ‘Dyad’ seeks to combine trippy visuals and tones with familiar puzzle game mechanics. Time will tell if this game has a worth beyond its similarities to ‘Rez’.


  1. JM

    3DS only has 5 games that sold over 1 million copies.

    Are all the good ones in secret development?

  2. William Henley

    Wow, I may actually pick up two games this week. I agree with the above posters – THPS is crack! It is SO not my genera – I honestly cannot tell you why I like this series, but like it I do!

    Knights of the Old Republic is also tempting. If its a good price, I may pick it up.

    I got an extended weekend this weekend, so I am thinking about getting my first download from (Good Old Games) this weekend. May spend this weekend playing Ultima!

    • I like GOG. I replaced my lost disc copy of MDK with my first GOG purchase four years ago. Ii’s great that they are DRM free (good for traveling abroad without internet access), and I love the bonus items like soundtracks or the Fallout Bible. The biggest draw though, is how they will take an old PC game that can take a bit of effort to get to play, and create a version that works pain free on modern PCs. That and they find titles that no other company bothers to think about selling, but are great games.
      Just looking now and they have the ‘Last Express’ for $5.99 (way cheaper than the multidisc copy I bought off of ebay a few years ago.)

      • William Henley

        I may start off with Ultima 4 – GOG has it for free. Depending on how it works, I may go with Gabrial Knight second. Some of the Sierra bundles are tempting – I own most of Sierra’s adventure games, but haven’t been able to get them to work, even in DosBox. Even bought a Bundle through Steam, and it doesn’t work at all in Windows 7. So the fact that GOG is claiming Windows 7 compatability is what turned me on. I may actually be willing to buy my third copy of 7th Guest if the games work.

        I am also eyeing Zork.

        • Well, to be fair when I did get MDK, it worked great until the end of the first level/city and then crashed. I ended up having to use the software(emulated vidcard) mode, which was a common problem for buyers. (I found these details in the gog forums) So even with GOG, your mileage may vary. Ultima 4 works fine for me running with its GOG DosBox setting in Win7 64bit, and I do think you’ll find much better luck with this category(ol’ timey PC games) of games on GOG rather than Steam.

  3. HuskerGuy

    Devastated to find out the PSN version of Tony Hawk isn’t out until August. I may actually buy it on the 360 to tide me over though 🙂 The only thing holding me back from doing so is the fact the 360 isn’t attached to my big TV.

    • That is awful- The game was already pushed back a month, and now there isn’t even a date for the PSN version. Considering that they have the PC version to finish, plus the THPS 3 DLC content, and that they will have to make a patch or two, I hope that the PSN version is out in August (with fixes from the patches.)

      • William Henley

        My Xbox is hooked up to the big TV, but I haven’t powered it on in months – honestly don’t know if it is even going to power on. I was hoping to get THPS for the PS3 as well. I guess I misread this morning. My XBox has an embarassingly small harddrive, so I don’t know if I have room for TH on it.

        • It was my mistake, I thought THPS HD for PSN was coming out today. I often end up re-buying games on the system I want or else ignoring them. I have Bionic Commando on XBLA, but wish I had it on the PSN. I have Mega Man 9 on WiiWare but wish I had it on PSN. I have the Walking Dead on PSN, but am seriously tempted to get it on Steam.

          Anyways, I’m waiting for THPS HD until they have a patch or a sale.

          • William Henley

            I just like the process of buying content on the PSN over XBox (or rather, the last time I bought XBOX DLC). I HATED having to buy POINTS to download content! I would want like a $2-$3 addon, and have to buy like $5 worth of points at a time. The only game I ever bought DLC for was Katamari – I don’t think any of my other Xbox games even support it. The PS3 is also much easier to upgrade the harddrive on as it takes a regular SATA harddrive. I haven’t checked to see if the XBox supports USB harddrives, but I am willing to bet it doesn’t. As such, the Xbox sits unused for the majority of the time, only getting turned on for the ocassional RPG that is $5 at Gamestop versus $40 for the PS3 version.