Several different types of videogames converge this week in a massive release slate, including two big AAA titles. The DS, 3Ds and PS Vita also all get some love, while a trio of Kinect games are poised for the upcoming holiday sales period.
Dishonored (360, PS3, PC)
What’s this – an exciting new IP from Bethesda? Developed by Arkane Studios, ‘Dishonored‘ looks excellent in nearly all aspects. As I wrote previously, the game features collinear paths to suit different play styles, and includes an array of combinable powers. These really make the Steampunk world come alive with promising gameplay.
Bethesda has put together an interactive trailer to illustrate the various techniques you can use to complete missions in the game:
The studio has also produced a great three-part webisode series, narrated by none other than Chloë Grace Moretz.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (360, PS3, PC)
‘XCOM: Enemy Unknown‘ has a couple of ingredients in play. The old Micro Prose IP returns under Firaxis to once again let players tactically deploy squads of XCOM soldiers in defense of Earth.
Based on the title’s showing at E3 and the PC demo, Firaxis has made move points and computer activity turns as compelling and as addictive as any RTS or 4X to date – and that’s pretty impressive with a controller interface rather than a mouse and keyboard. What’s more, the game retains the old UFO style and manages to play the story straight with a nice touch of modern videogame sci-fi ambience.
XCOM’s interactive trailer gives a simple preview of strategic turns:
Retro City Rampage (PSN, PS Vita, PC)
‘Retro City Rampage’ is finally set to release. I’ve been sold on this bit of 8-bit indulgence for ages. Even though the XBLA and WiiWare versions remain in limbo, PS3, Vita and PC owners can start the rampage this week.
Code of Princess (3DS)
Only a few months after a successful Japanese launch, ‘Code of Princess‘ comes to the States, lacking much shame over its anime roots. While I can shake my head at the game’s absurdly dressed warrior heroine or her declaration to protect her sword at all costs, the gameplay looks like a nice mix of RPG and brawler. By “nice,” I mean the guilty pleasure of brawling from left to right of the screen while collecting new stat bonus items and leveling characters up.
Fable: The Journey (360)
The thing with the three ‘Fable’ games is that you’ll have a hard time finding a fan that likes all three. On some level, that has to do with the hype and features that are discussed before release. The final product invariably falls short in scope. However, ‘Fable: The Journey‘ is a different story altogether. This one is an offshoot, and a Kinect title at that.
Here are my gameplay notes: “Push your right hand forward to cast. Hold it up and back to charge. Move it across your body when an attack is incoming to block/counter.”
Really, that’s all I have. Let’s call it the “Wii Sports Effect.” It’s a budget title with budget visuals, but may play better hands-on (or off, in this case).
Dragon Ball Z for Kinect (360)
Remember when Goku and Frieza fought it out on Namek? OK, now remember when you bought a Kinect and thought, “I can’t wait to make Kamehameha motions”? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you should buy a copy of ‘Dragon Ball Z for Kinect‘. I must warn you, though, that without something crazy in the title like “Neo Haiku,” this might not hold the player’s interest for an extended period.
Harry Potter for Kinect (360)
If you’ve been looking for a collection of Harry Potter themed mini-games for Kinect, look no further. My main gripe with ‘Harry Potter for Kinect‘ is that the controls necessary for many of the mini-games seem better suited to a Wiimote gyro setup. The feature that tries to capture the user’s facial features to create an in-game Hogwarts student is novel and should be fun for Potter fans.
Spy Hunter (3DS, PS Vita)
The funny thing about ‘Spy Hunter‘ is how accessible the near 30-year-old game design is for almost any player. Drive the car towards the mission’s goal and avoid enemy attacks while using gadgets to take them out. Oh, and there’s a truck and trailer that will deploy to resupply you. On the highway, on the ocean or even off-road, the old Peter Gunn theme will see you through.
Pokémon Black & White Version 2 (DS)
The stream of Pokémon games continue with ‘Pokémon White Version 2‘ and ‘Pokémon Black Version 2‘. Pokémon was once the life blood of Nintendo, and the games still sell like crazy, but I leave any analysis of these titles to the hardcore fans.
Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise (XBLA, PSN)
The violent acts of full-size stuffed animals continue in ‘Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise’. While I’m not sure that I’m ready to jump on the ‘Naughty Bear’ train, the DLC costumes for this game (which have clearly been inspired by Batman, Pennywise, those losers from ‘Scream’, etc.) make me smile.
Worms Revolution (XBLA, PSN, PC)
With rare exception, I’ve never been a big fan of ‘Worms’ games. ‘Worms Revolution’ looks to be more of the same. The new art style isn’t selling this one for me either. It reminds me of a ‘Worms’ clone that I had way back on the Game Boy Advance.