Pick & Play: July 8-14

Pick & Play: July 8-14

It's sort of an odd week for games, this time out. There isn't a whole lot to speak of that is obviously entertaining, but squint hard enough at the week's releases and a few should shine brighter than the rest. There is, of course, college football's annual representative, but the bulk of what remains is either possessed of eclectic rhythm or downloadable fare. Whether you're beating up your opponent in turns or with your fists and feet, though, this week should have something that at least stimulates your curiosity:

NCAA Football 2013
NCAA Football 2013
(PS3, X360)

Another year, another college football title from EA Sports. This one has had some controversy surrounding it, though, due to the exclusion of the University of South Alabama from its roster (an oversight that EA intends to amend in style next year). That said, you're getting the newest roster and what EA intends to be a refined gameplay experience.

You're also getting the Heisman Challenge mode. It allows you to place past Heisman trophy winners on your roster for the NCAA season (and unlock video interviews with them). These aren't just recent winners, either, but those stretching as far back as 1970 (with the appropriate pre-order). Match their famous performance and they become a viable player in the Road to Glory mode. NCAA Football 2013 will be out this Tuesday, July 10.

Rainbow Moon
Rainbow Moon

It's a strategy RPG that actually lets you move around on the world map and turn down random encounters. That right there is at least some modicum of innovation, though it gets still better when one looks at the game's plot. Rather than taking place in a traditionally war-torn fantasy setting, or focusing on the perversion and destruction of the hero's idyllic village, the idyllic village is an unmolested land that has no connection to the game's hero until he is warped there by his nemesis. Said nemesis also opens a series of gates that unload monsters on the once-peaceful world of Rainbow Moon. Fight them off on Tuesday, July 10.

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure
Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure

Just the name draws the eye, but is it exactly what it sounds like? Well, sort of. The game is a musical that hits some of the stereotypical notes—Paris, elaborate dance routines, and musical numbers—but mixes in a dash of Lupin III with its smooth-talking thief and the detective of whom he makes a fool. There's also a plot in there about combating the newly-revived Napoleon Bonaparte, keeping him from having his way. The rhythm elements are not all dance related, either, comprising a variety of minigames that draw on inspirations both classical and wholly original. Rhythm Thief will be dancing into stores on Tuesday, July 10.

The Rest:

  • Ace Mathician! (DSiWare; Thursday, July 12)
  • Dungeon Fighter LIVE: Fall of Hendon Myre (XBLA; Friday, July 13)
  • Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition (PSN: Tuesday, July 10; WiiWare: Thursday, July 12)
  • Hannspree Ten Kate Honda SBK (PS2 Classic; Tuesday, July 10)
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift – Arctic Games (DS, Xbox 360, Wii; Tuesday, July 10)
  • Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse (PSOne Classic; Tuesday, July 10)
  • Quantum Conundrum (PSN: Tuesday, July 10; XBLA: Wednesday July 11)
  • Zuma's Revenge! (XBLA; Wednesday, July 11)

    DLC Slated for release this week: dt>
  • The Sims 3: Diesel Stuff Pack (PC; Tuesday, July 10)

    Hidden Gem of the Week:

    Johnny Kung Fu
    Johnny Kung Fu
    (3DS eShop)

    Look, we know you're busy playing Diablo III. I'm busy playing Diablo III. How could you possibly have room on your plate for another action RPG? Johnny Kung Fu, though, may provide a compelling enough reason to step away from the fires of Hell, give yourself a little reprieve in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that doesn't completely eschew the cheer (this is set in Sweden, after all). There are colors to be seen and, of course, creatures to be slain by your party of warriors as they explore an expansive world. What's that? An eShop game someone is actually excited about? To be fair, the 3DS eShop has already proven far more interesting than its DSi counterpart, with releases such as Mighty Switch Force and Mutant Mudds intriguing game journalists and providing something unique that plays on the 3DS' most visibly distinct feature. Johnny Kung Fu doesn't look to innovate, instead acting as a conscious throwback, but that serves us just fine.

    Remember the days before home video game consoles? You probably don't, but there were these "Game & Watch" devices that used simple LCD graphics against a static, physical background and single-frame "animations" to play simple games. It wasn't limited to the Game & Watch brand, of course, and the devices shrunk to watch-size over time. Johnny Kung Fu has their uniquely herky-jerky style of gameplay, mixed in with sections of smooth, 16-bit-style side-scrolling beat'em up. It's a total retro trip that I can't wait to play.

    Shelby Reiches
    Contributing Writer
    Date: July 9, 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.*

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