The holiday weekend has had the unfortunate side effect of thinning out this week’s videogame releases. Yet this is the one week in recent memory when the 360 gets a must-own title. And just what is with that Syfy network game?
A demo for the DC Comics fighter, ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ drops this week.
Defiance (360, PS3, PC)
That’s right, today’s multi-platform AAA videogame is a tie-in with an upcoming Syfy TV series. In case that sentence didn’t already set off all quality alarms with respect to this massively multiplayer science fiction shooter, there is some hope. The developer of ‘Defiance‘, Trion Worlds, has some serious credibility on account of the years that the dev spent working on ‘Rift’ and its expansion ‘Rift: Storm Legion’.
That said, I plain just don’t like the Syfy network. I’m glad that ‘Alphas’ was cancelled, and I regret that a network exists in part to make ‘Lake Placid’ clones. As for the game, who the blank thought that this sort of a tie-in was a good idea? Even with all the marketing thrown into the show, the game has pretty much stayed off the radar, except in the minds of Trion fans. PC players should expect to find a huge community, but I’m not sure if the console audience will come.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge (360, PS3)
You have to give Team Ninja some credit. No matter how often fans of the first Xbox era ‘Ninja Gaiden’ threaten mass suicide in protest over how disappointing each installment and revision may be, the developer continues to try to please fans. ‘Ninja Gaiden 3; Razor’s Edge‘ began life as the shameful ‘Ninja Gaiden 3’ for the 360 and PS3 before being expanded and reworked for the Wii U. That exclusive Wii U game has again been retouched for an Xbox 360 and PS3 port. Each revision has gained fans, and who doesn’t enjoy several added playable characters?
BattleBlock Theater (XBLA)
The Behemoth was responsible for the cult favorite’ Alien Hominid’ and the superlative ‘Castle Crashers’ before going dark for several years. And by “going dark,” I mean developing the puzzling and difficult-to-understand ‘BattleBlock Theater’. Year after year, the game was promised and not delivered. But now its time has come. ‘BattleBlock Theater’ is ready to exist as one of the greatest platforming games of all time. The level design is excellent, and the included level editor means that the best levels are still to come. The game’s humor is quite enjoyable, but the interplay between players (both cooperatively and competitively) is sublime. Punching, throwing and giving other players a hand – this is the modern day platformer. The game is also quite the fun brawler, and aspires towards ‘Smash Bros’./’Power Stone’ levels. And that doesn’t even cover the array of gameplay modes or the collectability of new weapons and prisoners (costumes.)
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories & Vice City Stories (PSN)
This pair of PS2 digital re-releases are little gems. Born on the PSP, the PS2 versions have mercifully added dual analogue stick controls. After spending time with ‘Lego City: Undercover’, it’s easy to remember a time when Rockstar games first defined the sandbox genre. The simple brilliance of the mission structure, driving model and satirical story are great trips down memory lane. Unfortunately, we’re still talking about two separate releases. The purity of PS2 classics are nice, but if Rockstar were to give the games the HD re-release treatment with some gameplay tweaks, achievements and a quicker retry/save option, that would obviously be preferred.