With the end of September, we bid adieu to the third quarter of 2011. Though some major releases have peppered the last few weeks, now is when the schedule shifts into overdrive. We also have our first week, thus far, with directly competing sports titles! Very exciting for the soccer (fútbol?) fans out there!
(PS3, X360, Wii, DS)
Promising a more thought-provoking take on the X-Men mythos than its dungeon-crawling forebears, X-Men Destiny is predicated on the idea of choice, and how that choice influences one's fate. Selecting from three brand new—though apparently canonical—mutants, players will immediately find themselves thrust in the midst of an X-Men/Brotherhood of Mutants conflict, making decisions not only as to how the story will proceed, but what powers and abilities they wish to equip to get them through the action-packed battles. For more information, check out our preview of the game, which is due out this Tuesday, September 27.
This is a game that shouldn't need an introduction, but does. ICO was one of the most criminally underplayed titles of the PlayStation 2's early lineup. Shadow of the Colossus, from the same team, garnered similar critical acclaim, but was slightly more successful commercially. The two games are extremely different experiences. ICO is focused on the relationship between the nameless main character and the ethereal princess, Yorda, whom one must guide through the puzzling environments while defending her from shadow creatures. Shadow of the Colossus eschews environmental puzzles and hand-holding for epic battles against creatures of mythic proportions in an otherwise empty world. Both games, however, have an almost unique ability to tell their stories not through extensive exposition, but through sheer atmosphere. For more insight on the collection, read our review, and pick it up this Tuesday, September 27.
(PC, PS2, PSP, PS3, X360, Wii)
The reigning king of soccer simulations, FIFA has impressive ball physics and stunning character animation, giving it an impressively natural and realistic feel on the whole. This year's entry brings a new dribbling system and a reworked defense system to the table, along with tweaked physics and updated rosters. It will be out on the Wii Monday, September 26 and everything else Tuesday, September 27.
The long-standing competitor to EA's efforts, Pro Evolution Soccer (Winning Eleven overseas) once reigned supreme. Will Konami's 2012 edition recapture the crown from its American rival? Touting a Teammate Control system that gives gamers the ability to command a second player during set-pieces and throw-ins, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 will be out this Tuesday, September 27.
If you have even a single iota of appreciation for quality fantasy in your person, you owe it to yourself to read George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Garnering such critical acclaim and commercial popularity that the first book, A Game of Thrones, has been made into an HBO mini-series, it was only a matter of time until the series found itself adapted around a videogame framework. Given the series' visceral content, however, a strategy title was probably fairly far down on the list of what most gamers would have expected, though it certainly suits the grand scale of the epic novels. A Game of Thrones: Genesis will be out this Thursday, September 29.
Known in Japan as Atelier Totori: The Alchemist of Arland 2, The Adventurer of Arland is actually a sequel to Gust's previous Atelier game, Atelier Rorona. It takes place five years after Atelier Rorona, following the titular Totori, who is a student of Rorona. Her journey takes place over five more years, making this one of the few RPGs that comes to mind that doesn't cram its entire story into a matter of months. Adventurers may begin their tales this Tuesday, September 27.
The Splinter Cell series, up until Conviction, were games that featured a deliberate, meticulous form of stealth, rewarding care and planning over impulse and reaction. The first three of those are now available in HD, courtesy of the Classic Trilogy HD collection, though they sadly lack the asymmetrical online modes that made Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory so addictive. The collection will be out this Tuesday, September 27.
Following hot on the heels of Resident Evil 4 is the… Well, it's the fourth Resident Evil title. A side-story, Code: Veronica X was originally the PlayStation 2 port/update of the Dreamcast's Code: Veronica and, while not considered a main series entry, its gameplay is more or less intact from the first three entries in the series and the protagonist, Claire Redfield, is certainly familiar to those who played the much-beloved Resident Evil 2. Though its tank-like controls and static camera angles may seem archaic by today's standards, Code: Veronica used them to enhance its creepy atmosphere and provide frantic, desperate moments for the player. Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD will be out this Tuesday, September 27.
Drawing from the Dungeon Keeper series for its inspiration, the original Dungeons was a fun, if flawed, role-reversal in which gamers controlled a malevolent monster who had to prepare his home for an inevitable assault by the forces of good. Its sequel, the Dark Lord, expands upon that basic framework with four multiplayer modes, a brand new single-player campaign, new environments and more variety in the way of both playable characters and skills. Dungeons - The Dark Lord will be out this Tuesday, September 27.
(PS3, X360, Wii)
The latest hunting simulator from sporting goods giant Cabela, Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2012 promises big game, vast environments, and the newest hunting gear to aid you against your (potentially) dangerous and deadly prey as you stalk them over plain and tundra alike. Bears, elk, and ducks shall all fall before the might of your boomstick. For the couch-bound hunting fanatic, Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2012 will be out this Tuesday, September 27.
Take to the air in this WWII-era arcade-style flight game, shooting down members of the Luftwaffe as booze smuggler and French resistance fighter DeeDee in white-knuckle, mid-air dogfights. Alternatively, hop into one of the multiplayer modes—either one-on-one or two-on-two—and pilot famous planes from both WWI and WWII against your friends and strangers online. The flight model is forgiving, but since the focus here is fun and accessibility, that's certainly understandable. Blow your friends out of the air on the 360 this Tuesday, September 27 or on the PC this Friday, September 30.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition
Gamers who purchased the Gameboy Advance version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, found, included alongside the Super Nintendo classic, a special multiplayer adventure. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, mixed cooperative and competitive gameplay together and shook vigorously, rewarding you for outperforming your companions, but demanding that you work together to traverse its stages. The later Four Swords Adventures, on the GameCube, would build upon this (and be one of two games to demand each player have a GBA and a GCN link cable). Now, in light of Zelda's 25th anniversary, Nintendo is re-releasing the original Four Swords as a free DSiWare download for both the DSi and the 3DS, playable through local wireless or in a newly fabricated single-player mode. There are some additional enemies, but this is largely a loving recreation of the original, configured for the DS platform. It will be out this Wednesday, September 28.
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.*