It feels kind of like January again. Not outside—at least not here, in the North-Eastern United States—with the warmth of early spring working its way into the air. Along with it will come the pollen and, of course, the end of 2012's first quarter of releases. The stragglers are few and far between, this time out, but there are some standouts among them. As March comes to a close and Q2 2012 begins, we bring you Q1's final Pick & Play.
(PS3, Xbox 360)
Coming right on the heels of Tiger winning his first PGA Tour event in two years, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 brings the star golfer back to his roots. Called the "Legacy Challenge," this mode involves playing as Tiger during his more formative, pre-scandal years and beyond. Broken up into age-linked blocks, the mode begins with Tiger as a toddler and extends up through the present, onward into a speculative future that can culminate in a record-breaking win of a 19th major.
On a more controversial note, while the game will have a varied selection of courses to start, many of its announced venues are DLC-only, or linked to the collector's edition and retailer-specific pre-orders. The collector's edition content will be available for sale as DLC from day one, for the difference in price between the two editions, but that only serves to devalue the collector's edition (besides whatever physical memorabilia it contains.) It hits shelves Tuesday, March 27.
Supremacy MMA on consoles was an attempt at making a traditional fighting game rather than a sports title, using MMA as its fighting style. It more or less ignored that the fun of fighting games came from having many fighters with distinct (and sometimes kooky) styles, only occasionally drawn from existing forms of martial arts. Cheat Code Central's Angelo M. D'Argenio did not like it.
Perhaps the Vita version, which introduces some touch controls, will clean up the less-than-satisfying fighting engine of its console forebear. We'll let you know later this week, as the game hits on Tuesday, March 27.
(PS3, Xbox 360)
Ridge Racer has always been a more arcadey racing series, rewarding constant acceleration, limited braking, and liberal use of drifts to tear past one's competitors. The latest, Unbounded, aims to take that a step farther with Burnout-esque environmental destruction, adding a more cinematic emphasis to the core game. It worked for Burnout, to be sure, and it's been a long time since there's been a full-on entry in that series. Can Ridge Racer Unbounded pick up the torch?
That said, this one may or may not come out this week. Originally set to come out at the beginning of the month, Unbounded was delayed until "sometime later this year." It seems as though the racer may have slipped into quarter two, but retailer listings still have it slated for release this month, on Friday, March 30. We'll know soon enough.
A genuine expansion pack to a game? Much like last week's Fall of the Samurai, Tropico 4: Modern Times is an extension of the existing Tropico 4, pulling the series kicking and screaming into modernity, allowing you to extend your despotic rule into the Internet age, taking advantage of the technology that entails while struggling with new sorts of threats to your regime.
Unlike Fall of the Samurai, which was a standalone title, Tropico 4: Modern Times requires the original Tropico 4 to function. If ruling an island in the here and now interests you, Tropico 4: Modern Times hits on Thursday, March 29.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week:
Though it has already seen a PC release, this is Closure's first outing on a console, and that's something to be excited about. What is Closure, though? The most direct explanation is that it's a puzzle game with some platforming elements. Seriously, though, how many puzzle-platformers have you played over the years? They may blend together in your mind, but Closure is assuredly something different.
Closure's focus is light.
Rather than physics or liquid mechanics or whatever else is the cool new thing, Closure preys on one of our most primal fears and impulses: that if we can't see something, it ceases to exist. Light sources in the game can sometimes be carried or placed in sconces, activating platforms or simply revealing their existence where they weren't before. As they move around the screen, the terrain changes with them, demanding both situational awareness and critical thinking, all in the moment. It's a refreshingly unique and innovative approach to puzzling, and one of the more enjoyable releases in what is, overall, a very slim week. Closure hits the PSN on Tuesday, March 27.
Date: March 26, 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.*