Videogame Releases: Week of June 31st, 2013

Videogame Releases: Week of June 30th, 2013

Thank you, Telltale! With a summer holiday ready to crush the videogame release slate, the developer brings us at least one new game worth playing.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days (XBLA, PSN, PC)

Either you’ve played through Telltale’s excellent first five-episode ‘The Walking Dead‘ game, or you still need to play through it. (The game is perfect either solo or with a group gathering.) While it seemed like we’d have to wait for the still-to-come second season of the game for our next chance to get some new ‘Walking Dead’ action, ‘400 Days’ proves that the company has had a change of plans.

The developer has vacillated a little about whether playing through all of Season 1 is necessary to enjoy ‘400 Days’. Although the episode is being pushed as DLC for the main game (ownership of at least the first episode is required to acquire and play), the characters are distinct from cast of Season 1. Even so, the game is meant to bridge the two seasons, and is priced at only $5. Next week, the new episode will come out on iOS. A PS Vita version is also on the way.

Velocity Ultra (PS Vita)

Ah, PlayStation minis. They would have been a great idea had they been introduced in 2004 – 2007 with the launches of the PSP and PS3. Even when given away for free, PS minis often feel unworthy of attention. Nevertheless, they’re sometimes worth playing and, as in the case of ‘Velocity’, can be great.

Naturally, physical controls are pretty essential for some game types, such as shoot-’em-ups. As a lesser shmup fan, I only dabble in such things, but last year’s ‘Velocity’ brought a lot of new and interesting ideas to the genre. That, and an excellent soundtrack. Now, the same excellent game design comes in a PS Vita specific version. With new HD (Vita rez, anyway) visuals and trophies, the $8 download screams, “Buy me, Vita owners. BUY ME!”

Old PS Mini version:

Horizon (PC)

‘Horizon’ is a turned-based 4X strategy title for the PC. The game has been in development in Canada for the better part of a decade and is now being issued by Dutch publisher Iceberg Interactive. Beyond this basic information, two things are clear: First, the concept of the game involves the beginning of a true space age for humans, which leads to conflict with advanced neighboring species. Secondly, this is a game packed with minutiae and potentially delicate levels of customization. Really, nothing about it suggest a quick-and-dirty play experience. For some, the title will evoke a golden age of PC gaming that required a more dedicated level of attention.

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition (360, PS3, PC)

Never say never, especially with ‘Mortal Kombat’. In 2008, ‘Mortal Kombat vs. DC’ rather quixotically came into being, even as Midway dissolved. Despite some success, the series seemed to fall into limbo after the crossover. Then, amid a new fighting craze, the remains of the ‘MK’ team reformed as NetherRealm and released their first post-Midway title, the simply named ‘Mortal Kombat’. The game managed to bring the franchise online in a more competitive way than ever before, but also rankled some with its DLC bits.

The ‘Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition‘ brought the base game and DLC together for the 360 and PS3 last year. What’s happening now is that it’s coming to the PC, and that’s awesome. What’s even better is that it opens up the door for the possibility of a PC port for this year’s grand ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us‘.

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