Videogame Releases: Week of May 19th, 2013

This week, ‘Resident Evil’ makes a triumphant return to gaming consoles, while another classic heads the opposite direction to a handheld platform.

Resident Evil: Revelations (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)

When ‘Resident Evil: Revelations‘ was released for the 3DS, it was worth acquiring the elusive Circle Pad Pro in order to play with dual analog controls. Bringing the game to four new platforms with HD visuals, “Inferno Mode” and an expanded online “Raid Mode” has my stamp of approval all over it.

This is one of the few times that Capcom has really come through. The story hits all the high notes for the series. The gameplay is very claustrophobic, and the ability to scan and loot environments and enemies offers surprising moments of enjoyable weapon customization. Frankly, I’ll be shocked if this new HD version isn’t well received, and I hope that Capcom gains some insight from the title’s design.

Fast & Furious: Showdown (360, PS3, Wii U, PC, 3DS)

Sadly, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here by pointing out how unnecessarily bad licensed games can be. Then again, I’ve only seen every other ‘Fast & Furious’ movie. ‘Fast & Furious: Showdown‘ apparently doesn’t even rate a game trailer, and footage of the game online has been taken down with some impressive severity. Thus, I have to conclude that licensed games like ‘Showdown’ are the modern day equivalent of those old direct-to-VHS movies that tried to trick you into renting them with crazy and completely inaccurate box art.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (XBLA, PSN, PC)

This time around, ‘Call of Juarez’ is a shooter, plain and simple, and the game very wisely heads back to the Old West for its setting. If you played ‘BioShock Infinite’ or ‘Spec Ops: The Line’ and found those games too heady and peppered with excuses for combat instead of acting like the shooters that they really were, then ‘Call of Juarez: Gunslinger‘ is for you. The Western setting sounds like the kind of fun action seen in the ‘3:10 to Yuma’ remake. Granted, that may be wishful thinking, but at least the game features Western historical rogues like Jesse James and Billy the Kid. Set expectations along the lines of a good light-gun/shooting gallery title, and hopefully you may avoid disappointment.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)

While the Wii U suffers from a severe post-launch drought of games, Nintendo is astoundingly unleashing hit after hit for the 3DS. Of course, you could just get hold of a Wii version of ‘Donkey Kong Country Returns’, but then you’d miss out on the eight new levels and a host of tweaks designed to lessen the frustration of some of the tougher parts of the game.

The best part is that the changes are optional. Should you wish to suffer through the barrel rocket levels (like the hellish one with the giant bat) with the classic difficulty, that option is here too. Nintendo describes the new items, health system and checkpoints as helping to make the game more palatable for mobile players, but the fact of it is that ‘Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D‘ is a great way for many to experience a game that came out pretty late in the Wii’s lifecycle. Plus, its optional difficulty adjustment will benefit those less attuned to each level’s demanding rhythm.

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