Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to August. Though this week may be a bit light, the month promises to pick up as it goes along with some major and highly anticipated releases, culminating in the annual launch of one of sports gaming's juggernaut titles. For now, though, we present the slim pickings of August's inaugural week:
Back in the day, when Dragon Ball Z: Budokai was released in the US after years of the hyper-popular anime series airing on Cartoon Network, it opened the floodgates for a slew of titles that cashed in on the its renewed popularity. The vast majority were one-on-one fighting games.
One of these series was Bleach. Though few titles in the Bleach series have seen release in the United States, those that have have fit the fighting game framework, as have the vast majority of entries left behind in Japan.
Early on in the cycle of DBZ releases and rereleases, though, there was an attempt at a 3D beat'em up, akin to Koei's Dynasty Warriors series. Dragon Ball Z: Sagas was an infamously terrible title, nearly demolishing the goodwill built by the Budokai releases. In much the same way, Bleach is getting its first action-adventure beat'em up title in Soul Resurrección. Developed internally by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and published in North America by NIS America, the potential is certainly there for a fulfilling and entertaining action game. Will it deliver? North American PlayStation 3 gamers will find out on Tuesday, August 2.
(Wii, DS, PS3)
Don't let the name fool you. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension is a fully 3D platformer with action game elements. In it, players guide Phineas, Ferb and eight other characters through action-packed levels based on the upcoming Disney Channel original movie. Drawing its aesthetic directly from the cartoon and featuring a character exclusive to the game's alternate dimension—Agent T.—Across the 2nd Dimension promises wacky gadgetry and motion-compatible gameplay. Furthermore, exclusive to the PlayStation 3 version, there are four never-before-released HD episodes of Phineas and Ferb on disc.
The DS companion game, while only featuring Phineas, Ferb, and Agent P. as playable characters, still challenges players with 30 stages set in the movie's continuity. Both titles will be available this Tuesday, August 2.
An intended aspect of the "Sesame Workshop's Healthy Habits for Life" project, Sesame Street: Ready, Set, Grover is a mini-game collection in which Elmo and Abby are called upon by Grover to participate in a set of games designed "to help his Sesame Street friends get up and go!" The Wii version will come with a Grover-themed Wii Remote cover while the DS version will include a Grover stylus. The game is out this Tuesday, August 2.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
Now, this isn't to take anything away from Brink's long-awaited, highly publicized Agents of Change expansion (free for two weeks, people). Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, however, has to be seen to be at all understood and, even then, might leave some people scratching their heads. I mean that as praise, mind you.
Another release from Microsoft's incredibly strong Summer of Arcade, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet melds free-flying shooter gameplay with Metroid-esque exploration elements and an angular, dark and threatening visual style, accented with brilliant lines of color, bursting particles and ominous glows. There are tentacles and traps, shadow-cloaked monsters, and an atmospherically appropriate soundtrack that's bound to stick in your head for days, if not weeks, after the fact.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet will be out on the Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday, August 3.
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.*