Poor other games, launching the same week as a World of Warcraft expansion. Though the aging MMO's popularity may be on the wane, it's still has an absolutely absurd subscriber rate, its newest expansion sure to bring back at least a smattering of the players who've gone astray and dipped their feet into the fountains of other online role-playing experiences. It has plenty of competition, though, from over-the-top fighting games to two of the most popular sports games the world over, save the United States. There are pandas, pugilists, and Pomeranians this week on Pick & Play:
To the outside world, at least, the Pandaren began as something of a joke, a new faction for then-upcoming RTS-title Warcraft III, "revealed" during an April Fool's stunt pulled by Blizzard on that least trustworthy of news days. What would eventually follow, however, was an appearance by a select few Pandaren units in the subsequent expansion, The Frozen Throne, which canonized the hitherto farcical creatures.
Now, that canon is getting its first full representation in a Blizzard product, standing front and center in the Far East-themed Pandaria set as the focus point for that most popular of MMOs' fourth retail expansion. That focus manifests both through the new, faction-less race (the Pandaren) as well as the unique class they bring to the game: monks. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria will be sapping gamers' time away when it launches on Tuesday, September 25.
(PS3, Xbox 360)
First coming to Microsoft's consoles with the Xbox-exclusive release of Dead or Alive 3, that first generation of the Team Ninja/Microsoft partnership saw only one other entry in the fighting series brought to fruition: DoA: Ultimate, which included both the original Dead or Alive and a heavily-retooled and rebalanced version of the game that really brought the series into its own, Dead or Alive 2.
Come the Xbox 360, we received Dead or Alive 4 near launch and, while Team Ninja is no longer inextricably linked with Microsoft and its Xbox brand, it appears that, on Tuesday, we're about to get the second in this generation's Dead or Alive main-series titles, Dead or Alive 5. With a greater focus on the cinematic, which may or may not work in its favor, at least one new fighter whom I can't help but be interested in, and cameos from a couple of Virtua Fighter characters, Dead or Alive 5 looks to provide a compelling alternative to the recently released Tekken Tag Tournament 2 when it comes out on Tuesday, September 25.
(3DS, PC, PS3, PSP, Vita, Wii, Xbox 360)
Soccer is still one of the few sports with multiple licensed options hitting the shelves annually in direct competition with one another. The champion, for a few years now, has been the FIFA series, which has focused heavily on its ball physics and animations to make a game that feels natural in fans' hands while retaining its tremendous depth and wide breadth of options.
The focus this time out seems to be less on revolutionizing the core gameplay, though, and more on refining the amenities. Ultimate Team is now integrated with career mode and, well, there's Kinect and Move support this time out, but this largely seems to be a roster update and a refinement of the Ultimate Team mode. FIFA 13 hits shelves on Tuesday, September 25.
(PC, PS3, X360)
This year is something of a swansong for Pro Evolution Soccer. The series isn't being discontinued, but it will be the last year the current engine is used for the game, the franchise's next entry featuring a new one. It appears that PES Productions is determined to wring all it can out of the aging tech, however, because the company has attempted to improve both the A.I. and the controls, to make play more intuitive while making player behavior more distinctive. Will it work out well? You'll be able to find out when the game comes out on Tuesday, September 25.
I have fond memories of the Capcom "vs." titles when they first hit the arcades. It didn't precisely begin with "vs." titles, preceded by first an X-Men fighting game (Children of the Atom) and then a Marvel Super Heroes one-on-one brawler. Then the crossovers began: X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter and, finally, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Superheroes.
The Marvel vs. Capcom Origins collection provides today's gamers with a small slice of that history. Containing both Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom, the Marvel vs. Capcom Origins collection should provide hours of giddy, button-mashing fun to fighting game fans with a taste for nostalgia and kinetic 2D animation. It will be out on the PlayStation Network on Tuesday, September 25 and the Xbox LIVE Arcade on Wednesday, September 26.
Look, I don't really know where to begin with this one. Massive cataclysm of some kind, humanity is decimated, Tokyo is taken over by creatures of various types, from typical zoo fare and house pets (such as the much-hyped Pomeranian) to full-fledged dinosaurs. Dinosaurs in Tokyo, chomping down on giraffes. It'd be a strange world, it would. Tokyo Jungle, in all of its absurdity, hits the PSN on Tuesday, September 25.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week:
Y'know what's awesome about the PC edition of Half-Minute Hero? It puts the extra Half-Minute modes from the original PSP release back in. They had been excised for the console remake, in favor of focusing on the main meat of the game, but the PC edition brings them back, alongside the graphical enhancements put in place for the console version. There is, of course, the option to play with the original sprites.
While it may lack the portability element that made the original Half-Minute Hero so unabashedly addictive, the PC version is still poised to provide fast-paced entertainment to those with quick decision-making skills and an addiction to watching small numbers grow into exponentially larger ones time and again.
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.*