Pick & Play: July 24 - 30

Pick & Play: July 24 - 30



As July comes to a close, one might feel in the air a certain humidity as summer's gaming drought prepares to depart and leave us at the mercy of the fall monsoon. With luck, you've finished or, at the least, diminished your backlog to the point where you can focus yourself forward, on the new titles of gaming's busiest seasons. Here's the info on this week's first few drops of rain:

Catherine
Catherine
(PS3, Xbox 360)

Long anticipated, but fairly nebulous with regard to content up to its release, the latest from the team behind the Persona series is not an RPG, but a horror-puzzler. Players take the role of Vincent, who lives a life divided between the extremes represented by two women: his longtime girlfriend, Katherine, and recent fling, Catherine.

A game that casts its morality in shades of gray, Vincent's internal struggles manifest in his dreams, in which he must navigate nightmarish block towers as they crumble away beneath him and avoid the traps and creatures that have, as their sole focus, his destruction. Multiple endings await players who make it through, dictated by the choices they've made, choices without obvious right or wrong answers. Catherine will be out Tuesday, July 26.



Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions
Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions
(3DS)

Classic games are perfect as on-the-go time wasters, playable for brief stints between subway stops, in line at McDonald's, or while everyone else is napping in the morning meeting. Though the 3DS is more conspicuous—and probably less socially acceptable—than a smartphone, its bundled release of Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions includes markedly more variety.

In addition to the classic arcade renditions of Pac-Man and Galaga, the pack includes Pac-Man Championship Edition and Galaga Legions, both of which have introduced new spins to their forebears' classic formulae. Rounding out the package are Pac-man Tilt And Galaga 3D Impact, the former of which is a side-scrolling Pac-man platformer controlled by moving the 3DS and the latter of which is a first-person on-rails shooter inspired by the original Galaga. The game includes online leaderboards, and will be released Tuesday, July 26.



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Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove 3D
Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove 3D
(3DS)

Quick: What are your first thoughts when you see a female name in an alliterative, handheld game's title? Tween-girl-centric shovelware, perhaps? If that's the case, Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove 3D might surprise you. A rhythm game, Ghostly Groove sees 3DS players guiding heroine Gabrielle through Monster Town, dancing with its denizens as she attempts to recover the soul she accidentally sneezed out. Yes, she sneezed out her soul. Originally slated to appear on the DS, Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove was held back when its developers saw the 3DS' capabilities and decided that the 3D effects really made the dancing "pop off the screen."

For those who are looking to satisfy their dress-up desires, the game offers unlockable outfits and costumes, all infused with the attitude of a gothic Lolita anime. And if you need something quirky to tap along to, Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove 3D may be just what's needed to scratch that portable itch. It comes out Tuesday, July 26.



The Sims 3: Town Life Stuff
The Sims 3: Town Life Stuff
(PC)

Along the same lines as earlier "stuff" packs, such as High-End Loft Stuff and Fast Lane Stuff, The Sims 3: Town Life Stuff adds themed items to the game, such as gym and playground clothing as well as library and laundromat items. Town Life Stuff doesn't stop there, though, introducing both new venues and community lots, making this perhaps the most expansive "stuff" pack yet. The Sims 3: Town Life Stuff will be out Tuesday, July 26 and will be compatible with both PC and Mac versions of The Sims 3.



DLC Slated for release this week:

  • Back to the Future: The Game - Episode V: OUTATIME (PSN) - July 26
  • Dragon Age II: Legacy (PSN, XBLA, PC) - July 26
  • Section 8: Prejudice (PSN) - July 26
  • Deadliest Warriors: Legends (PSN) - July 26
  • Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team (PSN) - July 26
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation (PSN, PC) - July 27

    Hidden Gem of the Week: From Dust
    It feels almost unfair to have two Summer of Arcade-based hidden gems in a row, but the pedigree on this title is simply too strong to be ignored. Developer Ubisoft calls it a "spiritual heir" to Populous, Peter Molyneux's first foray into the world of god games, though the Fable developer is uninvolved. Instead, Eric Chahi is at the helm. You may not know the name, as he's been absent from the game development scene for a long time, but his previous works include science fiction odyssey Another World (Out of this World, in the United States) and side-scrolling cult classic Heart of Darkness. Chahi has a way of drawing players into a world through his visuals, and From Dust looks to satisfy on those grounds as well as on its gameplay. The game tasks players with protecting a tribe from natural disasters while facilitating their advancement, all with the creative and fluid implementation of elemental abilities. From Dust will be released on the XBLA and PC this Wednesday, July 27.

    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.*

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