It's always interesting when April Fools' Day falls on a weekend. There's a tradition of fictitious announcements in the gaming industry (much to the chagrin of gamers everywhere) and, given the amount of work that can go into some of these pranks, replete with in-game assets and interactive Flash games, I'm curious to see who thought far enough ahead to put something up even on a Sunday. However, this week's release list, though a bit slim, is no joke. It contains perhaps the first highly anticipated Wii game of the year and—get this—it's not a Nintendo title!
As far as I'm aware, this game bears direct connection to neither Xenogears nor Xenosaga, though its name evokes both. A Japanese action-RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles launched to critical acclaim in the East, then hit Europe in translation and, with no satisfactory explanation, was held back from an American release. Perhaps Nintendo of America felt that there was no market for the title, but the Operation Rainfall fan campaign soon proved them wrong.
One of the Wii's last core games finally hits stores this week in North America, bringing with it over-the-top action and massive swords. If you enjoy Japanese RPGs in any capacity, odds are you owe it to yourself to pick this one up. Xenoblade Chronicles comes out Friday, April 6.
More a collection of Star Wars-themed minigames than anything else, Kinect Star Wars allows would-be Jedi everywhere to pantomime force powers, engage in gesture-based lightsaber combat, and perform synchronized dances alongside the Emperor and Boba Fett.
Don't think about it too hard.
There's also pod-racing, which was one of the neater sequences in the first prequel movie, and it seems reminiscent of the pod-racing arcade game that hit (the few remaining) venues around that time. The Force is with Kinect Star Wars on Tuesday, April 3.
(PS3, Xbox 360)
There isn't too terribly much that needs be said about this collection. It contains high-definition, remastered ports of the three PS2-exclusive Devil May Cry games: DMC, DMC2 and DMC3: Special Edition (with less difficulty and more Vergil). The series as a whole is famous for over-the-top action, a touch of the old ultra-violence, demonic enemy designs, and impressively large (and powerful) bosses. The third, in particular, is an incredible, intricate action game with on-the-fly weapon switching and multiple gameplay styles for Dante to use, such that gamers can really make him play their way.
Interestingly, after street date was broken on this title, Capcom abolished said street date altogether, and the game is readily available now from various retailers, with no repercussions (other than to your wallet). The official release date, though, was supposed to be Tuesday, April 3.
Based on a fantasy miniatures game, Confrontation is described alternately as an action-RPG and a tactical RPG. The truth of the matter might lie somewhere between the two extremes, as the title's major gameplay inspiration (as least for its combat) was, in fact, Baldur's Gate. Similar to that most classic of RPGs, Confrontation allows players to pause the action to issue more detailed, intricate commands rather than rushing through everything in real time. This courtesy, of course, is absent in multiplayer. Telling a story of apocalyptic proportions, Confrontation will be out this Friday, April 6.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week:
It's not a perfect game, no, but Ubisoft's side-scrolling shoot 'em up does manage to evoke a simpler time, an age before tessellation and chest-high walls. Our own Josh Engen touched on its awkward controls in his review, but the game's charm and core "so dumb it's fun" gameplay managed to overcome even that most powerful of hurdles for him. Now it's coming to the PC, bringing with it pre-order bonuses (such as a Gordon Freeman outfit and some Team Fortress 2 goodies, Steam exclusive).
Shoot Many Robots will allow PC gamers to divest themselves of their mechanical infestations this Friday, April 6.
Date: April 2, 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.*