Fighters get their fix this week, as do fans of both hockey and basketball (well, potentially; as long as they enjoy rhythm gaming too), but the most interesting titles of the week might be those skirting around the edges of the mainstream, whether rebooting a classic series with smooth online integration or presenting a mind-shattering take on the platforming genre.
(PS3, Xbox 360)
Not since 2000 and the PlayStation 2 has there been a tag-based Tekken fighting game. With two-on-two battles that end when one of the fighters' health bars is depleted, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 follows its predecessor in form as well as in name, though its roster has expanded dramatically, including new versions of Devil Jin and Devil Kazuya that have never before been seen in a Tekken title.
If you're looking to beat up on friends or strangers, and tire of the standard one-on-one framework of prior Tekken games, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 offers an alternative, altering the strategy of match-ups while preserving the series' technical nature and juggle-heavy combo system. It will be kicking its way into stores this Tuesday, September 11.
(PS3, Xbox 360)
Ice hockey is back, and this year it's bringing enhanced A.I. to the table. Now able to parse the on-ice action in a holistic sense, rather than merely reacting to whatever is in front of them, CPU teammates and opponents will play smarter with the puck. Further, in line with Madden's new focus on physics, NHL 13 is applying a new physics engine to its skating, which aims to make it look more realistic.
How will it play? For the most part, it's ice hockey, though those who enjoy tending goal will find that they are now able to "anticipate" saves with the right stick, rather than immediately leaping for them. It's the little things that matter, no? NHL 13 will hit the ice on Tuesday, September 11.
Billy and Jimmy are at it again, brawling their way through an endless morass of gang members with martial flair. Double Dragon: Neon is something of a series reboot, with 3D graphics that beget smooth animation as the brothers concuss their foes with an extensive variety of deadly fisticuffs. The greatest element of Double Dragon: Neon, however, is the game's online drop-in/drop-out co-op. Yes, drop-in and drop-out, rather than "find a lobby, begin the game, play the same five minutes of a level over and over again before someone rage-quits and then repeat." No, if your partner rage quits, you can keep playing and someone else can take their place, or vice-versa. Double Dragon: Neon will be out on the PSN Tuesday, September 11 and the XBLA Wednesday, September 12.
So, you want to play a basketball game, but you're also in the mood for some rhythm gaming? Well, first off, you have very particular tastes. One might even say you're kind of a "niche" gamer, you music-loving sports fan, you. Luckily, it appears that someone's looking out for you, as someone thought it would be a good idea to put those two concepts together. Is it chocolate and peanut butter or pickles and ice cream? Well, it involves dribbling a ball to the beat, performing specific tricks in front of the Kinect in time to a slew of popular pop and R&B singles. Look, don't let the fact that its studio went under skew your perspective. The game's still coming out on Tuesday, September 11.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week:
I love a good platformer, but it's a genre that has gone sadly out of vogue. Sure, we still get the occasional Mario title, or a Kirby game, but Nintendo's releases are few and far between and, after the somewhat underwhelming New Super Mario Bros. 2, I'm looking for a 2D jumping fix. Also, I enjoy shooting things, and Mario doesn't really "do" the whole guns thing.
Enter Fractured Soul: Deep Void, which combines the jump and shoot gameplay of a Mega Man or Metroid title with a dual-screen twist. Both screens are controlled simultaneously, the character responding to the player's inputs on both, but the world differs between the two. Where one might have empty space, another has a platform or an obstacle. Navigating levels involves switching between the two worlds, sometimes rapidly, to traverse terrain that both is and isn't there. It's a brain-teaser that requires fast reflexes; what isn't to love? It'll be out on Thursday, September 13.
Date: August 27, 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.*