Pick & Play: December 4-10
December has arrived! Snow! Lights! Carols! Menorahs! It’s that time of year and we’re all getting in the spirit, save a few scrooges still lingering about. Sadly, one of those scrooges is the weekly release list, which has shrunk to a mere shadow of its former self. Of course, there is one extremely notable exception, as a certain mascot’s perennial racing series makes its first stereoscopic 3D outing. To the picks!
Mario Kart 7
Is Mario Kart 7 the first numbered entry in the Mario Kart series? Yes, yes it is. It’s also the first to introduce hang-gliding and underwater segments to the mix, and the first to have the stereoscopic 3D effects that the 3DS offers. The classic gameplay is intact, with green and red shells a-flying (appropriately festive, no?) and even a blue sparks and grey asphalt for those of us who celebrate for eight nights instead of one. Read our review before picking up the game. It came out on Sunday, December 4.
Can Fortune Street be described as “Nintendo does Monopoly”? Yes and no. It also has some Dragon Quest characters, for good measure. The game advertises that you get to play the real estate and stock markets in a board game. Perhaps not the most exciting prospect, but any game that mashes together Bowser and slimes is worth a glance. It also gives Mario written dialogue for the first time in, well, over a decade. Even in his RPGs, he’s the silent hero type. There are minigames to be had, but Mario Party this ain’t. Players can invest in Fortune Street when it hits shelves Monday, December 5.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Game
(3DS, PC, PS3, Wii, X360)
Just in time for the 3D animated movie that shares its name, The Adventures of Tintin: The Game brings the classic journalist-cum-detective under your control in a side-scrolling platformer that, occasionally, breaks from its constrained axes for vehicle sequences and 3D movement. For the most part, though, this is an action/puzzle/platformer in the traditional sense. It introduces co-op to the equation, allowing players to game together not only as Tintin himself, but as his friends and colleagues. The Adventures of Tintin: The Game will be available this Tuesday, December 6.
When I was but a boy, Oregon was a mythical place that existed solely in fables and fairy tales told by the settlers of old. That was because my only knowledge of this distant land was garnered from sessions of Oregon Trail. I desperately tried to convey a family from the eastern United States across raging rivers and vast plains, fording the former and hunting buffalo upon the latter (seriously, did anyone play any part of it besides the hunting minigame?). They were in search of a better life, but, more often than not, found only dysentery and destruction somewhere in what is now fly-over country. Relive your childhood this Friday, December 9.
Tuesday, December 6
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week: Final Fantasy VI
So, let me level with you. Final Fantasy VII? Pretty amazing game. It came out on the heels of some incredible hype and actually managed to deliver one of the most memorable Japanese RPG experiences of all time. The PlayStation generation was the first time many people had owned a console. It was sort of when gaming hit the “mainstream,” and Final Fantasy VII was many a gamer’s first exposure to RPGs in general and the Final Fantasy series in particular. The true shame is that these individuals so rarely went back to experience Final Fantasy VI, the Super Nintendo classic.
Originally released in the United States as Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy VI stands today as one of the most epic adventures in all of gaming. Featuring a tremendous cast of unique characters, a massive world to explore, a deep and engaging story that touches on issues both political and personal, religious and secular, Final Fantasy VI is also one of a very select group of games that has significant portions of its story set both before and after a game-altering cataclysm. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, eat your heart out. Jumping to the PlayStation era once again, Final Fantasy VI was released, retranslated and unedited (the SNES release in the US had been made more family-friendly) as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology, alongside Final Fantasy V. It’s also coming to the PSN this Tuesday, December 6, as a PSOne classic.
If you own a PS3 or a PSP and you haven’t played this title, you owe it to yourself to change that.
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.*