By Jared Cornelius
Welcome back game-boys and game-girls, it’s time to find out what you’ll be dropping your hard earned cash on this week for those home computer math machines. This week we have a clear frontrunner for the top spot, and a console exclusive to boot! Otherwise the theme this time around is mainly kid friendly franchises. Turtles, wrestlers, toys and more kids are taking up a good chunk of the release space, but don’t worry mature gamers we’ve got content for you too, so without further ado.
In a bit of madcap action, developer Insomniac is releasing their first Microsoft exclusive game Sunset Overdrive. The 3rd person action shooter takes place in the colorful and stylized Sunset City where an energy drink is causing people to transform into monsters. Take your player created character across the cel-shaded open world environment with the games hyper kinetic movement and parkour system. Sunset Overdrive rewards players that keep moving with higher scores and weapon upgrades for chained combo kills. Insomniac is topping the combat off by adding a slate of bizarre weapons like the “TNTeddy grenade launcher”. The game also features online hooks, with an 8 player co-op “Chaos” mode that sound a lot like horde mode from Gears of War. Insomniac’s been putting out quality platform games and have done strange and interesting weapons before, with their Ratchet & Clank series and after a stumble last generation with Fuse, they look poised to make a splash in the 3rd person genre again. Sunset Overdrive is available Tuesday exclusively on the Xbox One.
Hey Dark Souls fans, you want another game that hates you? Good German developer’s Deck 13 and CI Games hate you too and are ready for you to endure hours of masochism with their new title Lords of The Fallen. Players control Harkyn, a man with a dark past whose sins are marked upon his face for the world to see. Unfortunately he’s the only hope against the onslaught of the old gods and their demonic army who’ve returned after a millennia to conquer the land. Choose from warrior, paladin, and rogue classes with unique fighting styles and weaponry and tackle the games combat system that focuses on dueling enemies with careful and paced combat. The game looks like a better version of the recently released Bound By Flame and has a dark fantasy ascetic somewhere between Berserk and Warhammer that gives it a gritty feel. Lords of The Fallen released Tuesday for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with a special edition available with a bust and some other goodies.
In a clear sign that I haven’t been paying enough attention to the Wii U’s Virtual Console, a bunch of Castlevania titles snuck under my radar. The exquisite Castlevaina: Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow from the Gameboy Advance released this month, along with the Super Nintendo’s Castlevania: Dracula X. I’d whole heartedly recommend both Gameboy Advance titles for fans of the series and Metroid-Vania lovers. If you’d like to see me gush about the franchise and its former producer Koji Igarashi read this. All three titles are currently available on the Wii U.
Would you like to buy two sub-par Assassin’s Creed games and get an excellent third for free? No, I don’t blame you, anyway Assassin’s Creed: The Americas Collection is out this week on last generation consoles, containing Assassin’s Creed III, Assassin’s Creed Liberation, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The three games in the series obviously focus on the Americas and include new mechanics to the franchise like the village building homesteading of Assassin’s Creed III and refined ship combat of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. All three vary in quality with AC III being a bit dull and drawn out, Liberation being a smaller scale affair thanks to its portable roots, and Black Flag being the standout of the bunch with a far more interesting character as well as the aforementioned ship combat. I’m hard pressed to recommend this to anyone as you can get the much better Ezio Collection with the previous three Assassin’s Creed titles for around $20. Assassin’s Creed: The America’s Collection is released Tuesday for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Take this next game with a grain of salt, I included it primarily because the IDW comic series is so good but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze ships this week. The incredibly popular kids franchise has been around since I was a boy back in the 80’s and has truly gone the distance with a number of animated series, movies, comics, and toys. Based on the current Nickelodeon cartoon, Danger of The Ooze seems to be a Metroid-Vania styled exploration based platformer. It purportedly lets you switch between the four turtles at any time, has a role-playing game light upgrade system, and is spotlighting some of the shows more recent characters like the Punisher inspired Danny Trejo voiced, “Newtralizer”. I was incredibly skeptical of this being any good because I’ve heard nothing about it, but I noticed it was developed by the 2D wizards over at Wayforward Technologies so this might have a shot at very least of being alright. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of The Ooze released Tuesday on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo 3/2DS.
Anybody else remember how companies were trying to get the Monster Hunter genre of co-op battle games popular in America? Well Sony hasn’t had enough and they’re going to give it one more try with Freedom Wars on the PlayStation Vita. The 3rd person, up to four player co-op game has you battling monsters in the “not too distant future” where people are born into resource gathering penal colonies called, “Panopticons”. It seems like the standard, choose a class, pick a weapon, and fight smaller monsters on your way to a boss monster to gather things to craft into better armor, repeat formula that drove the Japanese audience into a frenzy in the 2000’s. Freedom Wars is released Tuesday at retail and on the PlayStation Network Store.
Get out the baby oil and your finest pair of jorts because WWE 2K15 is here, sort of. So for all you last generation hold outs good news, WWE 2K15 is out this week on the old consoles. As for the new generation consoles, “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news” as those versions won’t be available until next month. This is the first WWE game since the closure of longtime publisher THQ and 2K has given the game a slick visual upgrade to go with its new sports franchise. (Set those expectations lower on last generation consoles) The big selling point this year revolves around showcasing classic wrestling rivalries like CM Punk vs. John Cena and Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H. 2K has also added some of its sports series signature flair with the addition of “My” branded modes like MyCareer. Just as a word of warning the online modes in NBA 2K15 have reportedly been atrocious so don’t expect a seamless experience out of the gate. WWE 2K15 released Tuesday on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and expect another look at this when the new generation versions hit next month.
It’s that time of the year again, let’s see how bad EA Games can screw up at basketball with NBA Live 2015. In exile for several years after the disastrous shelving of NBA Elite 2011 just days before it was scheduled to release, EA vowed to get basketball right again with the quality and craftsmanship the franchise use to be known for. Well it totally failed last year with the poorly received NBA Live 2014 and I’d assume their fortunes won’t be a whole lot better this year. EA’s reportedly added over 500 improvements based on last year’s feedback and I’d assume the online can’t be worse than 2K’s right now. NBA Live 2015 released Tuesday on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
For all you Disney Infinity enthusiasts who didn’t pick up the special edition of the game, The Hulk will be released at retail this week. He’s compatible with the Avenger play-set as well as the Toybox Mode. Not really much else to say other than “HULK SMASH!”
In a couple of quick hit releases, The Legend of Korra is getting a Nintendo 3/2DS release with The Legend of Korra: A New Era Begins. It’s a turn based strategy game that uses the bending styles. I’m far less optimistic about this title than the Platinum Games developed console versions from last week as developer Webfoot Technologies has mainly made shovel-ware games.
So someone at the production company that makes Power Rangers released they have twenty years of costumes lying around and decided to make a game based on that. Power Rangers Super Mega Force is a 3/2DS brawler in the vein of arcade beat’em-ups of the 80’s and 90’s. It’s got 30 playable rangers and some giant robot fighting, all said and done you could do worse as a super sentai fan.
That’s all for this week boys and girls, but you can check out this month’s spooky installment of my regular column, Typing on The Dead, where I break down the month’s Walking Dead comic. Until next time, Stay Gold.
Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who can’t drive 55. If you’ve got one foot on the break and one foot on the gas, contact him on Twitter @John_Laryngitis