This week, we start a revolution. Not only is the third entry in seminal first-person adventure series Deus Ex hitting the shelves, but with it begins the fall game rush, with major releases planned for the weeks to come. We're not here today, however, to talk about that annual, United States sports juggernaut, though (or the recent end of the strike that precedes it). We're here to talk demons, pugilism, and extreme body modification. Let the games begin:
(PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Inarguably the single biggest release this week, the one with the highest collective expectations and hopes among gamers, both press and public, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a shot at redemption for a series that began at the highest of high points. Famously designed by Warren Spector, the original Deus Ex was an exercise in open game design, with levels that presented players with multiple paths to the same (or at least similar) goals. Do you sneak past the guards or charge in, guns blazing? Or perhaps you hack the security and turn it on the very people it's intended to protect. Players could tailor their skills to their play-style.
The sequel, 2003's Invisible War, drew flak for decisions it made to simplify gameplay and a shorter play-time, including consolidating all weapon ammunition and doing away with the original game's skill system entirely. Human Revolution, set before either title, eschews biological modification for mechanical, and returns to a system of distinct ammunition types. The augmentation options also look expansive, especially compared to the slim pickings in its predecessor. Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be out Tuesday, August 23.
The first Shin Megami Tensei game on the 3DS is not, in fact, a new title. That said, Devil Survivor was one of the DS' top RPG titles, standing out for its intricate battle system (seamlessly combining Tactics-style strategy RPG gameplay with more traditional group-on-group combat) and demon auction system, both of which are returning in this updated, 3DS port of the DS original.
In addition to an extended story mode, Overclocked will have better visuals, full voice acting, multiple difficulties and more demons than its progenitor. Craving a handheld RPG with the sort of length and complexity that you can really sink your teeth into? 3DS looking attractive with that price drop, but still looking for something other than Ocarina of Time to justify the purchase? Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked is your game, and it's out Tuesday, August 23.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week: Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online
To be fair, this week's gem isn't exactly hidden. Street Fighter has been enormous ever since Street Fighter IV rejuvenated the series a couple years back. Since then, we've seen home releases of Capcom fighters such as Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, with Street Fighter X Tekken in the pipe and promises of a NAMCO Bandai-produced Tekken X Street Fighter. To date, Street Fighter IV and its upgrade(s) have appeared on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3, PC and even the 3DS and iPhone. Now, we all know there was a Street Fighter II. It was released, with completely redone graphics, as Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (try saying that three times fast) as a downloadable title. It's a classic game, spawning half a dozen iterations both in arcades and on home consoles.
But what about Street Fighter III? Released ten years after Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III initially drew tremendous ire from the fighting game crowd because it threw out its prequel's entire roster. Gone were Guile, E. Honda, Blanka, Dhalsim, and even Turbo and Alpha characters, such as Cammy, Charlie, Fei Long, and Rose. It was Ryu, Ken, and a whole slew of new guys (and one really old guy). It was supposed to be a new generation, and it didn't quite take. Later updates added in additional characters and refined the fighting system, which was already highly technical due to the major addition of a parry system, by which players could aggressively guard an attack and receive no damage, if their timing was very, very good.
Its final update, Third Strike, reintroduced both Chun-Li and Akuma to the roster and also became extremely popular in tournament play. Street Fighter III: Third Strike is the source of perhaps the most famous fighting game video of all time: EVO 2004, Daigo's Ken versus Justin Wong's Chun-Li. Daigo, with only a sliver of health remaining, parries every hit of Chun-Li's Houyoku-Sen (multiple, rapid kicks) and counters with his own super attack, ending the match.
Street Fighter III: Highly technical, extremely underappreciated. Out on the PSN this Tuesday, August 23 and the XBLA Wednesday, August 24.
By Shelby Reiches
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*