Pick & Play: June 10-16

Pick & Play: June 10-16

With E3 over, it looks like we can get back into the swing of things with a slightly hardier release list. Topping it is Suda 51's latest epic and one of the most anticipated Vita games yet known to exist. There are also remakes and rereleases galore, an expansion pack (in this day and age?), plus a game that takes place in Sweden, which seems notable enough to bear mention.

Lollipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw
(PS3, X360)

Suda 51 has become not only one of the most distinct designers in the gaming industry, but also one of the more prolific. His unique sensibilities have, in the last year or so, informed a remake of No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, Sine Mora, Diabolical Pitch, and now Lollipop Chainsaw. The last of these is a third-person action game of the beat'em up bent, with protagonist Juliet Starling, both a cheerleader and a zombie hunter, taking the titular chainsaw to the hordes of shambling undead that threaten her friends and loved ones.

This includes the severed head of her boyfriend, Nick. Yes, he's still alive. This is a Suda 51 game, after all.

The action rewards the herding of zombies into exploitable groups, which the chainsaw will happily bisect. Look, this game involves an evil goth druid, intelligent zombie rockers, and a cheerleader showing more ass-kicking willpower than team spirit. You can get your hands on it and start combating the zombie invasion when the game hits shelves Tuesday, June 12.

Gravity Rush
Gravity Rush
(PS Vita)

Continuing our trend of odd games, we have Gravity Rush, which is one of the more highly anticipated early titles for the Vita. Here, it isn't just the story and/or aesthetic that draw attention and distinguish the game from its contemporaries, though it does possess a unique and engaging art style. No, Gravity Rush is an action-RPG with a gravity mechanic, which allows one to shift one's relative gravity on the fly. The plot may be cookie cutter—Kat has amnesia and has to work toward recalling her past as she combats an encroaching force that threatens the safety and well-being of innocent people—but the action is anything but. Look for it on the Vita this Tuesday, June 12.


Pikmin 2: Nintendo Selects
Pikmin 2: Nintendo Selects

Excited for the newly announced Pikmin 3? If not, it's only because you've yet to place this gem, which is coming to the Wii enhanced with Wiimote controls. For a pseudo-RTS such as Pikmin 2, which demands precise direction and delegation, the pointing function of the controller seems like a natural fit. Plus, this was just a great game, expanding on the original by abolishing its hard time limit and allowing for greater degrees of exploration, moving the gameplay away from the survival/subsistence style of the first game and toward one of experimentation. Expect it to hit the Wii on Tuesday, June 12.

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
(PS Vita)

Does this series need an introduction? Control Solid Snake and his old school predecessor, Naked Snake (the man who would become Big Boss) in two of the greatest stealth action games ever released. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty served as a direct sequel to the PSX original, Metal Gear Solid, while Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater stepped things back, aiming squarely at the series' unexplored roots back in the 1960s, when Naked Snake went on an undercover mission in Soviet Russia.

In addition, the package contains MSX games of historical significance: Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, which were very different from the NES games of the same title (though those were based on these MSX releases). They look surprisingly good and hold up fairly well, even today. Notably absent from the collection are both the original Metal Gear Solid and, more importantly, Peace Walker, which was present in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the collection. Does this mean we can expect the PSP version to come to the PSN store on the Vita sometime soon? Pared down or not, portable MGS action still has an undeniable appeal, and it can be yours when the game is released this Tuesday, June 12.

The Rest:

  • Devil Band: Rock the Underworld (DSiWare; Thursday, June 14)
  • DiRT Showdown (PS3, X360; Tuesday, June 12)
  • iCarly: Groovy Foodie! (DS; Tuesday, June 12)
  • Mad Dog McCree (3DS eShop; Thursday, June 14)
  • Phantom Breaker (X360; Tuesday, June 12)
  • PulzAR (PSN: Vita; Tuesday, June 12)
  • Splice (PC; Wednesday, June 13)

    DLC Slated for release this week:
  • Magicka: The Other Side of the Coin (PC; Thursday, June 14)

    Hidden Gem of the Week:


    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? Krater, 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.

    And Krater aims to be a hardcore game at that. It wants you to care about your characters, and so they develop as individuals as well as increasing in ability as they experience the game and level up, but they also run the risk of being injured and dying. For good. Permadeath is very much a thing here. Further, the crafting system allows players to make almost anything and, with the promise of co-op play coming later this summer, Krater can't help but draw some attention. Will it unseat Diablo III? No, of course not. But it's not really trying to be another hack 'n slash dungeon crawler either. Krater comes out on Tuesday, June 12.

    Shelby Reiches
    Contributing Writer
    Date: May 28, 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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