This week? It's huge. Enormous. Packed to the gills with the bloody mayhem of assault rifles with chainsaw bayonets, exploding mutated wildlife, and subterranean monstrosities the likes of which will churn your stomach. And that's just one of the week's releases. Seriously, there's something in here for fighting fans, racers, lovers of adventure, RPG gurus, and horror buffs. We also see Nintendo salute the aging DS with some first-party goodness. Let's hop in, shall we?
The 800-pound gorilla in the room. The gorilla is also purple, and may be part elephant. If you've missed the pervasive advertising campaign for this game, its beta, and the contests that have sprung up leading up to its release, odds are you don't own an Xbox 360 or, in fact, any other gaming console. You also probably don't have a television or even a door to the quarry you live in, which makes me wonder how you're reading this list on the internet.
Gears of War 3 is the closing act to a trilogy that began when the Xbox 360 was in its infancy with the original Gears of War. Epic has taken years between each entry, refining them into polished experiences that bring an impressive variety of new stuff to the table with each outing while keeping positive parts of the previous entries intact. I could continue on about its hyper-violence, the satisfying weight behind each action in game, its fast pace and, in the particular case of the third game, its unique story, but you can read about all of that in our review. Gears of War 3 will be blasting into stores Tuesday, September 20.
The goal of Supremacy MMA, going in, was to make a fighting game first and an MMA game second. Every other MMA game, from the early UFC titles up to Undisputed and last year's EA MMA, has been predicated around a sports framework. The goal has been to emulate the feel of the sport itself rather than create a compelling fighting game with the techniques that typify mixed martial arts. Contrarily, one rarely sees prevalent MMA fighting styles, such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, make their way into traditional fighting games in anything resembling a realistic interpretation.
Supremacy MMA attempts to bridge that gap. The engine behind it is designed to feel intuitive and fluid, simplifying controls so that throwing a punch to the head doesn't consist of holding a trigger, pressing two buttons and moving the right stick in an almost-quarter circle. It captures the overt brutality of MMA fights without stepping too far into the realm of absurdity, making that action appealing to gamers rather than just MMA fanatics. That said, the title does feature some real life names and faces, as well as the first female competitors in an MMA game. Supremacy MMA will gogoplata your wallet this Tuesday, September 20.
(PS3, Xbox 360)
Formula One didn't earn the "One" in its title by letting other cars run faster. No, these are the fastest racing vehicles you'll be zipping down the track for more than ten seconds, easily surpassing NASCAR in both velocity and danger. F1 2011 brings that danger and excitement to your living room, with famous raceways packed full of fragile F1 cars. This is not a title for those who just like driving fast and crashing into stuff. Mastering the physics behind these vehicles takes a ton of practice (and perhaps a wheel-like accessory for your console), but for those who dream of fine-tuning their vehicles for the track's slant and the day's weather conditions, F1 2011 is coming out this Tuesday, September 20.
One of the first titles on the DS, Kirby's Canvas Curse really showed off the benefits of a touch-screen handheld. It was what most reviewers pointed to early on when showcasing the potential of the DS as a viable platform. Now, here we are in the twilight of the system's life, and Kirby's back for Nintendo's swansong entry on the non-3D DS.
Kirby's Mass Attack, like Canvas Curse, is not a Kirby side-scroller. Instead, players control up to ten of the pink puff-ball at once using the stylus, navigating their environments or attacking enemies at the player's command. For more information, read our review. Kirby Mass Attack will be bouncing into stores Monday, September 19.
Monster battling returns to the DS with Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2. A spin-off of the Dragon Quest series, the Monsters sub-series relegates combat to one's minion monsters, collected over the course of the game either through battle or by synthesis. Gameplay is more staunchly traditional for an RPG than one would find in most other monster battling games—the impossible-to-ignore Pokémon, for example—offering a long and engaging quest over which to collect and create a varied stable of beasties. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 will be out this Monday, September 19.
Released on the original PlayStation in Japan, Persona 2 - Innocent Sin never made its way over to North America. The original Persona did, in a famously warped translation, as did the other Persona 2 game, Eternal Punishment, which was set after Innocent Sin chronologically while ignoring the events of that game. Like its predecessor, Innocent Sin was an RPG in which players' characters summoned various "personas" to aid them in combat. Encounters could often be resolved, however, without one throwing a punch, instead breaking down to a strange sort of conversation with a gaggle of demons.
Now, Innocent Sin joins the original Persona on the PSP with a similar remake, featuring a new soundtrack and an improved interface. With its release, players may now have Personas 1, 2 and 3 on one handheld, ported around with them wherever they go. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 - Innocent Sin will be summoned into stores this Tuesday, September 20.
Yes, it's a downloadable title, but as the full Resident Evil 4 experience, this deserves a spot of its own on the list. It's also well-known enough that it doesn't really qualify as a hidden gem. That said, this is Resident Evil 4. It only redefined the horror experience for gamers who, after five games of tank-like controls and a story-line stuck in limbo around the time of the Raccoon City outbreak, were starting to feel a little burned out and worn down with regard to the whole Resident Evil formula. It introduced a more action-centric gameplay style, with satisfying gunplay and an atmosphere that still made players feel vulnerable, even with their improved lethality. Resident Evil 4 HD will shamble onto the XBLA and PSN this Tuesday, September 20.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week: Burnout CRASH!
When I say Burnout, what's your first thought? High speed racing with shiny, fast cars? Nah, you're probably thinking about the crashes. The twisting, crunching, almost fetishistic crashes that are central to the Burnout experience. Previous entries in the Burnout series included a Crash mode, in which one's entire goal was to deal as much property damage as possible in a single pile-up. There were ways to boost one's score, either adjusting trajectory post-crash or activating a recharging bomb to give one's crash new life, but the mayhem was a satisfying constant.
Now, with Burnout CRASH!, that mayhem is central to the experience. This is a downloadable title centered around Burnout's most distinct feature, and it can be yours on Wednesday, September 21, on either PSN or XBLA.
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.*