It's a light week in game releases this time out, but that doesn't stop what is there from pulling out all the stops to impress you into parting with your hard-earned money. We have a console port of a brilliant PC RPG, a Vita port of an over-the-top-silly PlayStation 3 RPG (noticing a trend?), motorcycles, ancient martial combat, and an adventure game that takes to the trees. It's all here this week on Pick & Play!
Almost a year after it first made waves on the PC, The Witcher 2 finally gets a console release. This isn't the first attempt at bringing one of Geralt of Rivia's titles to Microsoft's console; the 360 was originally slated to receive a heavily modified port of the original Witcher game that was eventually cancelled. But that's ancient history now, and the previous game's fate is not a concern with this entry. CD Projekt RED has been relentless with its title's marketing, describing in depth the means by which The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has been rebuilt for the Xbox 360, as well as the new features this Enhanced Edition introduces over the original release.
Ah, yes, the Enhanced Edition, which is also available as a free upgrade to those who purchased the game on PC, is launching alongside the Xbox 360 version. It includes new gameplay content and never-before-seen cinematics, both of which will also be present in the console release. Geralt's improved adventure will be available on Tuesday, April 17.
The first two Disgaea games, over-the-top tactical RPGs released on the PlayStation 2, were ported to the PSP. Following in that tradition, Disgaea 3 receives a Vita port this week, which includes all the DLC that has been released for the PS3 version.
As with its predecessors, the hallmarks of the series are here: a combat system that allows players to play fast and loose with the rules, taking advantage of purposeful exploits to allow characters to be used multiple times in a single turn in different ways. Characters can be leveled absurdly high, all the way up to level 9999, and the Overlord's committee has been replaced by a sort of student council (being as the protagonist is enrolled in school this time out), but its function is much the same. Disgaea 3 will be tossing Prinnies your way on Tuesday, April 17.
Trials HD took the physics-based motorcycle antics of its Flash-game prequels to the Xbox LIVE Arcade. In addition to hours of challenging levels that combined the visual appeal of motorcycle stunts with a puzzle-solving core, it featured the same level editor the developers had used to craft their wily game.
Trials Evolution not only expands on the range of locations in which the action takes place, and offers a broad array of new challenges therein, but also features an updated version of the level editor that can be used in either a "lite" mode, which allows for basic construction of one's dream courses, or a "pro" setup that allows for the very purpose of a level to be altered at its core. Beyond that, the game now has simultaneous multiplayer for up to four players. Trials Evolution will be out this Wednesday, April 18.
Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat serves a simple purpose. Enjoy the Deadliest Warrior television series, with its legend-on-legend combat, and want to bring that action to your home console? Well, you can't, but you can certainly get a pair of fighting games that collect some of the more famous warrior types (or specific warriors, in the Legends component of the game) and pit them against one another in bloody one-on-one fights to the death.
This is, in fact, a collection of Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior: Legends, both of which were originally downloadable titles. It also has the DLC and some new arenas for the games, as well as never-before-seen episodes of the series. If you want to take on a Spartan (or a pirate) with a fast and cunning ninja, Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat allows you to do so when it hits retail on Tuesday, April 17.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week:
Botanicula is one to watch almost entirely because of its studio's history; the cleverly named Amanita Design is the group behind Machinarium, a tremendously slick and well-crafted entry in the long-forgotten (though recently revived) genre of point-and-click adventure games. Machinarium's world was unapologetically smoggy and industrial, with billowing smokestacks, an earthy color palette, and a main character who creaked when he walked.
Botanicula takes a leap in almost exactly the opposite direction. Colorful and organic, it still bears the distinctive fingerprint of the artist behind Machinarium's aesthetic, but has moved from a nuts-and-bolts cityscape to the trees. Here, the player's tree creatures explore and seek a remedy for the evil parasites that infest their home tree. Botanicula, and all of its surreal whimsy, will be available Thursday, April 19.
Date: April 16, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*