We're coming up on the big holiday season, and, with Black Friday next month, some of the year's biggest releases are already rolling out. We have our first war-themed first-person shooter of the season and, accompanying it, a sequel to one of the best surprises of last season (and one of the biggest financial drains on gamers' parents). Additionally, we're looking at racers, puzzlers, and long-forgotten classics given new life in this week's Pick & Play.
(PS3, X360, PC)
Do you have what it takes to combat the global threat of PETN? Medal of Honor: Warfighters tasks players with taking down an international, terrorist operation by stepping into the shoes of its dual protagonists, Stump and Preacher, as they hop between military hotspots in a game that aims to blend the cinematic and the human with war-time, shooty goodness.
Additionally, there is, of course, multiplayer. In this case, it's focused on team gameplay, a formal buddy system keeping players from splitting off and doing their own things in matches that offer a distinct reprieve from the hectic gameplay of Call of Duty in favor of something a bit more tactical. Medal of Honor: Warfighter will be on shelves Tuesday, October 23.
(3DS, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
Couldn't get enough of the Skylanders' first outing? Last year's surprise hit game and collectible figurine phenomenon returns with a new entry and, of course, new figurines to collect and play with. This time out, though, the scale has been increased, with the eponymous "giant" figures standing twice as tall as their mundane compatriots. There are also new figures that glow when active, which is always a neat touch. Your current collection is, of course, compatible with the new game and their stored progress does factor into the new game.
If you'd like to know more, our Editor in Chief, Matt Walker, wrote a glowing review of the game. Look, the man has kids; he knows what he's talking about. If your interest has been piqued, you can look for Skylanders Giants on store shelves this upcoming Sunday, October 21.
Forza Horizon tries to do something that far too many racing titles have failed to accomplish: It attempts to create a game that appeals to both simulation fans and those who enjoy a more arcade-like experience. Set in an open world Colorado, players take part in races and challenges that force them to use specific cars or accomplish unique goals, including elements of property destruction.
The physics engine, though, is pulled right from Forza 4. It's an interesting and intense amalgam game that any racing-savvy gamer should keep their eye on, to be sure. It'll hit shelves, exclusively on the Xbox 360, on Tuesday, October 23.
Since its launch earlier this year, the Vita has seen far too little in the way of retail releases. There was Gravity Rush and there was Disgaea (also, Mortal Kombat), and while it does have another fighter port coming this week in the way of Street Fighter X Tekken, Vita owners are looking for a new experience. We'll see If Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz fits the bill.
In addition to the core gameplay, which can take advantage of the Vita's gyroscopic controls, the title will also have multiplayer modes and, in a neat twist, a level creator that can take advantage of real-world objects to makes its levels, using the Vita's built-in camera for one of the most intriguing implementations of AR yet. The game will be coming to retail on Tuesday, October 23.
Having played 999 on the DS, I was immediately intrigued by Zero Escape, since it promises to further not only the gameplay and atmosphere of that prior, portable adventure, but also its story. Given that the first game (at least its true ending) features much in the way of ambiguity and a lack of complete resolution, and how unabashedly insane the game's major plot conceits actually were, I'm bound to have my mind blown by the follow-up. If classic adventure gaming with a Japanese visual novel twist sounds like something that would be up your alley, I urge you to give Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward a look. It'll be out on Tuesday, October 23.
The mechanics may seem somewhat familiar to those who've played a first-person shooter, but The Unfinished Swan doesn't task its players with destruction and mayhem. Instead, they're tasked with exploration as they fire paint, rather than projectile weaponry. The paint is used to do such things as paint the world while its protagonist, Monroe, seeks the unfinished swan that escaped the painting he brought with him to his orphanage after his mother passed away. Unabashedly artsy, and with Move support, The Unfinished Swan is a very unique experience, and one that will be out on the PSN as of Tuesday, October 23.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week:
In the days of the Commodore 64, when the NES had just exploded in popularity with the classic Super Mario Bros. platformer, the PC gaming crowd was already raising their hackles at the prospect of having to dive into the console realm to get the sort of experience they so desperately desired, that sublime game out of Japan that Nintendo was never quite willing to license out (the only non-Nintendo console to possess a non-educational Mario game, as far as I know, was the Phillips CD-i). Enter the Giana Sisters, effectively a rip-off of that style of gameplay, if not a direct recreation of Super Mario Bros. itself.
And now, decades later, we've come full circle. The Giana Sisters are getting their own outing with glorious 3D visuals, though their 2D platforming roots remain. Featuring colorful and twisted dreamscapes, the now-teenage Giana must confront her childhood nightmares as she rushes to rescue her sister, lost in the dreamscape. It will be out this Tuesday, October 23.
Date: October 19, 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.*