Videogame Releases: Week of July 29th, 2012

Videogame Releases: Week of July 29th, 2012

This week’s videogame releases reveal what the world would look like with only a deadlight to show the way. Plus, we get some sort of Disney dream drop, Awesomenauting and a few classic re-releases.

Deadlight (XBLA)

In ‘Deadlight’, you play as Randall Wayne, a scraggly-looking fellow stuck in a world influenced by ‘The Road‘. Also, there are zombies, and the year is 1986. Why is the game called ‘Deadlight’? One theory has to do with the use of beautiful light composition between the foreground and background. Make no mistake, along with a gritty story and gritty world, the gameplay is that of a 2D platformer. Built in Unreal, ‘Deadlight’ comes off as a mixture of the best elements of ‘Shadow Complex’, ‘I am Alive’ and maybe even ‘Limbo’. This is close to a must-buy for me.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS)

The ‘Kingdom Hearts’ franchise has been around long enough to predate the re-establishment of ‘Tron’ as a popular property or even the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films. The Square Enix produced games have remained popular in part by being infused with more and more Disney properties. That is, as popular as any ‘Final Fantasy X’ era, Disney-populated RPG could be. The series’ first title for the 3DS, ‘Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance‘, seems entirely reminiscent of the first ‘Kingdom Hearts’ PS2 title, and probably just as accessible. One question remains: How many new users, young or old, are willing to dive into the convoluted and emotional Japanese RPG aspects in order to experience the only ongoing game series that features Disney characters?

Awesomenauts (PC)

Already out on XBLA and PSN, ‘Awesomenauts’ finally bows on PC this week. The galaxy is locked in combat, as competing mining operations struggle to protect their drilling cores while eliminating each other. Not satisfied by waging operations with turrets and drones, Awesomenaut mercenaries are called in on both the red and blue sides in an attempt to force a decisive victory.

‘Awesomenauts’ was a free PSN Plus title, and is best enjoyed with friends either locally or online. I fully expect a large PC community of players to race to unlock characters, upgrades and maps. ‘Awesomenauts’ features the addictively fun competition of a domination-style FPS, while remaining light and accessible with its 2D side-scrolling gameplay.


‘MDK 2 HD’ has been available on an obscure download service called Beamdog for some time, but now comes out on Steam. ‘MDK’ for the PC was a blind buy for me back in ’90s, and what an excellent and quirky game it turned out to be. ‘MDK 2’ was one of the first PS2 games that I played, and the shift in design really lost me. ‘MDK 2 HD’ features updated graphics, audio and game balance. It may be just the reason I need to revisit the world of ‘MDK’.

Total Recall MMO (PC)

Supposedly, a freemium MMO featuring the ‘Total Recall’ license is coming out this Friday. It will be browser based, and is from the same company that developed ‘Planet Michael’, the “Ultimate Michael Jackson Online Game,” which sounds way too freaky for me to play. More details can be found here.

Meanwhile, you can enjoy the original licensed game’s awfulness. The Sharon Stone fight is at the 2:22 mark.

Grand Theft Auto III (PSN)

No single ‘Grand Theft Auto’ title was as important to the series, or as influential to the open-world/sandbox genre’ as ‘Grand Theft Auto III’. The first 3D ‘GTA’ and the first of three ‘GTA’ titles to be released on the PS2, ‘GTAIII’ arrives this week on the PlayStation Network. As a part of the PS2 Classic line, the game is a straight port of the PS2 version, and therefore does not feature trophy support or updated textures, models, etc. Even so, I would choose this version over the 10 Year Anniversary iOS version. Driving the mean streets of Liberty City just works so much better with a controller.

Edit: Apparently, ‘GTAIII’ has been delayed.  From the the PlayStation blog:

Note: Due to an unforeseen complication, the Grand Theft Auto III PS2 Classic is not publishing with today’s Store post. We will update you when a new release date has been identified. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

The delay may be a result of licensing. ‘GTAIII’ was the first GTA to have a huge set list of music for it’s in-game radio stations.


  1. William Henley

    You know, there are only three games that I have ever bought on their release dates – and all three I had preordered. One of those three was Kingdom Hearts 2. I absolutely love this franchise. That being said, I probably will not end up picking this one up – I am just not much of a mobile gamer. I got a couple of games by Kairosoft on my Android phone and tablet to kill a few minutes here and there, but most of my gaming is either console or PC.

    • I’ve never played Kingdom Hearts 2, and I had forgotten how beloved the title is by fans. Yesterday, some people were telling me that it was the greatest RPG of its generation. The consensus though was that if Dream Drop Distance was on a console it wold be a must buy.

      While I understand that moving the franchise to handhelds (which are super popular in Japan) makes them easier to produce, unlike say Final Fantasy XIII. I think that Square Enix should try bring out a Kingdom Hearts anthology or remake to consoles to try to attract new fans.

      • William Henley

        Actually, a few have been ported. Chain of Memories was originally a Gameboy (I want to say GBA) title, and was ported to the Playstation 2. It wasn’t that popular here, though, as it was a card-based game rather than a traditional RPG, but I still played it, as it had a good story, and once you figured out the card system, it wasn’t that bad.

        Saying its the greatest RPG of our generation might be a bit of a stretch. Its up there, but you have to think that its up against the Tales series. I will say that I think its better than the current generation of Final Fantasy games. While I love Final Fantasy, the last one that I really liked was 9, which was for the Playstation 1. Not that 10-13 were bad (okay, 11 was), just not in the same league.

        Now, if you want to play these, I suggest going back and playing 1 again, then Chain of Memories,then 2. While you can play 2 without Chain of Memories, there are refrences in 2 that are difficult to understand unless you play Chain of Memories first.

        Great games, really well made.

        • I tried to play “Chain of Memories” (why can’t you say “GBA”? It IS for GBA!) but I couldn’t get into it. I don’t like the card using — besides, can you explain to me how to wisely use cards while a foe is attacking? Do you have time to think about which card to use? It came across as a “button masher”-esque game …

          • William Henley

            I couldn’t remember of Chain of Memories was GBA or DS. I have it on the PS2.

            Its been a while since I played, but if I remembered right, it was turn-based battles rather than real time.

            As far as the cards – your cards have different hit points, attack points, and different powers. What you would do is line up a series of cards in an attack combo. The strategy is that your combo have higher attack powers and hit points than your opponents combo. But you don’t want to always use your most powerful cards – because they get cycled to the bottom of the deck, so its a while before you can use them again. So its a bit more of a strategy or tactics game than it is a traditional RPG.

            Once again, that is how I remember the game. Its been a while since I played, but I am pretty sure that is the basics of it.

          • William Henley

            If it wasn’t turn-based, then at least I usually had time to setup an attack before being counter-attacked. I certainly don’t remember it being a buttom masher.

          • ‘Button-masher’ may be a poor choice of words … what I meant to say was: you have no time to pick your cards, because the attacker is, ehm, ready to attack. That’s how I remember the GBA-version. If I’m wrong in that department, my point shall be rendered mute and stupid.

            Anyway, it confirmed again that I’m not the ideal RPG-gamer. I prefer adventure quests with a little RPG-flavour, e.g. “Ocarina of Time” (still my favourite game of all time).

          • William Henley

            Great game! I think my favorite is Wind Waker. The ONLY reason that its not Ocarana of Time is that I DETEST the N64 controler, which could make even a great game like the Zelda series frustrating to play.

        • The most recent Final Fantasy that I would be likely to play again would be Final Fantasy 9. I was interested in Final Fantasy XIII: Versus when it was announced, and now I have come to find out that the Kingdom Hearts II team is the team behind XII: Versus.

  2. I consider the N64 controller to half amazing and half frustrating. Especially if you want to go back and check out something on the N64, the controller is a big barrier. I wanted to check out the helicopter chase levels in The World is Not Enough on the N64 a few years ago and the combination of it being one of the few games to use the N64 memory cards for saves and the difficulty re-adapting to the controller made the exercise a huge ordeal.

    On the other hand, playing N64 games like Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time on the DS or with the Classic controller is weird as well.