It's a week for killing stuff and picking up their randomly generated droppings, whether with gun and grenade or sword and sorcery. That's not all, though, as a few classics are finding new life on modern hardware, too, and the Wii gets some love in the twilight of its life.
(PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
It's all too appropriate to call this one the elephant in the room. After all, the original was made famous in part by "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked," by Cage The Elephant, which became the game's calling card and intro track. Gameplay-wise, though, Borderlands 2 is set to dramatically improve on an already great, addicting formula. Kill stuff in fast-paced, first-person combat; pick up randomly generated loot that allows you to kill more stuff better; and, finally, slather on a few layers of attitude.
Do you like RPGs? Borderlands 2 has something for you. Shooters? Yep, it's there. Over-the-top, stylized violence. Um, yes, that's in the game, too. Whatever your violent, anti-social poison, Borderlands 2 has it and brings it to you along with four player co-op. And wub wub. Don't forget the wub wub. It'll be out on Tuesday, September 18.
Disappointed by Diablo III? Perhaps you've simply wrung everything you can out of Blizzard's hack-and-slash epic, a decade in the making. Maybe you're ready to move on to greener pastures (perhaps literally, given Diablo III's distinct lack of verdant foliage). If so, Torchlight II has your back. The original was a pleasant surprise when it popped up back in 2009. The sequel promises more, bigger and better. Yes, this means there are two action-RPGs with randomized loot hitting in one week.
Whereas Borderlands was always a game optimized for co-op, though, Torchlight II is addressing one of its predecessor's greatest faults: its complete lack of multiplayer has been rectified. Torchlight II is going to have co-op multiplayer. Rejoice! Be merry! Slaughter your foes, Thursday, September 20!
Kirby, Nintendo's little pink powder-puff, has been surprisingly prolific this generation. In addition to a few DS titles, including a remake of Kirby Super Star, the Wii saw both Kirby's Epic Yarn and the far more traditional Kirby's Return to Dream Land. It seems only fitting, then, that he help close out the Wii's run with a disc that celebrates his storied and colorful history.
The Dream Collection, which is intended to commemorate the character's 20th anniversary, includes six Kirby games emulated on the Wii: Kirby's Dream Land 1, 2, and 3; Kirby's Adventure; Kirby Super Star; and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. That's a lot of enemy-inhaling and power-stealing to keep players occupied. The collection came out on Sunday, September 16.
(PC, PSN, XBLA)
If you remember the Dreamcast, odds are you remember Jet Set Radio. You probably knew it as Jet Grind Radio, if you lived in the United States, but it drew eyes regardless of its name because of its striking cel-shaded aesthetic. There really hadn't been anything quite like it and, to go with the style, the game had some serious gameplay chops.
You're a rollerblading, wall-tagging member of the GG gang in Tokyo-to, fighting back against oppressive corporate and government control by way of your skating and street art. It's a classic concept done up with anime-esque absurdity and a hip-hop sensibility that gives the game an identity all its own. Now it's in HD, coming to PSN on Tuesday, September 18 and XBLA and PC on Wednesday, September 19.
Hidden Gem of the Week:
It isn't often that a downloadable Wii title comes out, much less that one catches my eye, but La-Mulana has that Metroid-esque exploration feel I just can't get enough of. It's an unforgiving archaeological platformer, in the sense that the Indiana Jones movies are archaeological films. You, complete with fedora, brown jacket, and whip, must navigate an aboriginal temple in pursuit of both riches and knowledge.
The visuals are gorgeous sprite-drawn affairs, though, and the gameplay is demanding both of one's mental and physical dexterity. It's intentionally difficult, and was originally brought out on the PC in Japan back in 2005. The WiiWare version is an updated re-release that hit Japan back in 2011. It's now coming to your Wii on Thursday, September 20.
Date: September 17, 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.*