Sweet Release! Tales From The Borderlands, Game of Thrones, Captain Toad, NES Remix, The Crew, Lara Croft, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD, Guilty Gear, Terraria, December’s Free Games

By Jared Cornelius

Welcome back to Sweet Release! Bleeding Cool’s weekly look at the hot new video game cassettes.  After an incredible few months of games we’ve finally come to the end of the road for new releases.  Black Friday has come and gone and the big games you want are already out, leaving a few scrappy titles to pick up the slack over the next few weeks.  While we do have some various releases over the course of the month, I’m not sure we’ll have enough to justify an update every week, so consider this the end of the year spectacular.  Don’t fret, as Sweet Release! will return in early 2015, but for now let’s look at the last games of the year.

Tales-from-the-Borderlands

Leave your shotguns and sniper rifles at home for Telltale Game’s Tales From The Borderlands.  The 3rd person adventure game is following in the footsteps of Telltales other popular adventure series The Wolf Among Us and Walking Dead as their next episodic games franchise.  You play as Rhys a low level Hyperion employee who’s determined to climb the corporate ladder as well as beautiful con-woman Fiona, who’s looking for her big score.  Tales follows the low action format from Telltale’s other adventure games with an emphasis on storytelling and character building.  The games also spotlighting other familiar faces from the Borderlands series including Handsome Jack, Zero, and Shade to start with more characters certain to follow.  Tales From The Borderlands: Episode 1 Zero Sum, released last week on PlayStation 3PlayStation 4Xbox 360Xbox One and PC.

GAME

Our very own Patrick Dane scooped me on this, but the first episode of Telltales Game of Thrones releases this Tuesday.  Much like Tales From The Borderlands, the series is more about story beats and characters than combat.  Telltale hasn’t been tossing out a ton of details on the game, but have made it clear the Lannisters appear during episode one, voiced by the actual cast members!  The series purportedly revolves around one of the minor houses with allegiances to the Starks, and takes place between the 3rd and 5th season of the show.  Game of Thrones: Episode 1 Iron From Ice released Tuesday on PlayStation 3PlayStation 4Xbox 360Xbox One and PC.

CAPTAIN
Nintendo’s mushroom headed sidekick is finally getting the spotlight with Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker.  The 3D puzzle exploration game has players control the titular Captain Toad as he searches out treasure in a variety of Mushroom Kingdom locals.  The game focuses on checking different perspectives on the screen to solve puzzles a bit like indie darling FEZ, and uses the Wii U’s touchscreen gamepad to switch different viewing modes.  Gameplay for Captain Toad is more about puzzle solving than anything else, with the title having a slower pace than your typical Mario platform title.  Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker releases Friday exclusively on the Wii U.

REMIX
Are you ready for a Re-Re-Re-Mix!  NES Remix that is!  The micro-game themed mini-game collection takes you through various classic Nintendo games, making player’s complete challenges.  But Nintendo has turned those genre classics on their heads by having gamers play them in offbeat ways.  Titles like the original Super Mario BrosMetroid, and Legend of Zelda appear along with a bevy of other NES classics and game types that range from collecting coins backwards, to playing Donkey Kong as The Legend of Zelda’s Link.  NES Remix is also releasing on the 3/2DS, billed as Ultimate NES Remix.  I wouldn’t really call it that though as it apparently only has 16 stages from NES Remix 1 and 2, making the game as expensive as the Wii U version with less content.  Both versions release Friday the 5th on their respective platforms.

THECREW
We’ve had a few racing games pop up this fall and Ubi Soft is ready to through their hat in the ring with The Crew.  The brand new racing series is taking cues from other online racing games, by encouraging players to build up a four player team and compete in the games slate of online challenges.  Purporting to have a drivable United States that stretches across five huge open world maps including New York and Los Angeles. The game is using some of Forza Horizon’s main hooks by offering players the ability to drive almost anywhere, whether it’s a highway, back road, or cornfield.  The Crew also features a variety of customization and upgrades to the licensed vehicles using a series of different driving mechanics and styles like dirt and circuit.  With the disappointment of Drive Club this might be the perfect answer for car fans on the PlayStation 4 and a solid contender to Forza Horizons 2 on Xbox One.  Please note that much like Assassin’s Creed UnityUbi Soft has had some embargo issues with The Crew leading me to believe the game may work poorly at launch  The Crew released Tuesday on PlayStation 4Xbox OneXbox 360, and PC.

KINGDOM
Mickey Mouse and his posse of doe eyed anime kids are back in Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remix.  The 3rd person combat roleplaying game was a huge hit back in the mid 2000’s featuring original characters from Square Enix crossing over with some of Disney’s biggest franchises like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid.  The HD upgrade actually has a ton of content with Remix containing Kingdom Hearts II: Final MixKingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts: Re Coded.  The latter two games are making their console debut, having only been previously available on the PlayStation Portable and mobile phones.  Square has also added additional content as well as giving the games an HD overhaul including the cut scenes.  File this game under the banner of, “you know if you like this” but three games for $39.99 isn’t a bad deal if you’re into it.  Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remix released Tuesday for PlayStation 3.

TERRERIA
Speaking of mash-ups how do you feel about Minecraft being mashed up with a 2D styled pixel art game?  Well good, because indie game Terraria is making its way to new generation consoles in a boxed copy this week.  Unlike MinecraftTerraria packs in more combat with its world building, offering players not only regular enemies, but a final boss as well.  The game also supports up to 8 players and can be played couch co-op with 4.  Terraria is already available on PC, Xbox 360PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita, but releases at retail on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on Tuesday.

LARA

Lara Croft is appearing on consoles this year with a smaller downloadable title, Lara Croft And The Temple of Osiris, from Crystal Dynamics.  Lara’s back to business raiding a tomb and ends up trapped with a rival tomb raider and a couple gods by Egyptian deity, Set.  Temple of Osiris is a direct sequel to the 2010’s Lara Croft And The Guardian of Light, using the same isometric perspective and co-op features, but expands Temple with four player drop in, drop out co-op.  The game looks and plays a bit like a Middle Eastern themed Diablo but with a bigger focus on puzzle solving.  Lara Croft And The Temple of Osiris is available Tuesday the 9th on PlayStation 4Xbox One, and PC.

GUILTY

Developer Arc Systems maker of seemingly every fighting game to come out of Japan not named Street Fighter, are debuting on new generation hardware with Guilty Gear Xrd Sign.  Arc Systems has been producing quality fighting games since the original PlayStation days and are returning to their original heavy metal fighter.  Ridiculous name aside, Xrd Sign, has modeled its characters and arenas in full 3D, but have made the game look 2D.  It sounds crazy but makes for one hell of a good looking fighting game.  The story is some incomprehensible garbage, but that’s most fighting games.  Besides the gorgeous looks, they’ve added a series of tweaks to the fighting mechanics and an all new butt rock soundtrack.  The game comes in a limited edition pack as well with an art book, soundtrack, and other goodies.  Guilty Gear Xrd Sign releases Tuesday the 16th on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

If you subscribe to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, the first of the month means a brand new slate of downloadable games you can pick up at no extra cost.

SECRETPlayStation Plus users get Nether Realms DC Comics fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Switchblade Monkey Entertainment’s Secret Ponchos, (Think western Diablo).  PlayStation 3 owners get a three pack of Hitman games with Hitman HD Trilogy, and Swery 65’s Twin Peaks inspired Deadly Premonitions.  PlayStation Vita gets tower defense game, Final Horizons, and all three platforms receive cross buy support for Titan Attacks! a Space Invaders inspired wave based shooter.

SSX

Xbox Live Gold subscribers get Worms Battleground on the Xbox One.  The Xbox 360 sees The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief, free until the 16th, when EA’s reboot of SSX ends out the month.  Kind of a beat month for Games With Gold.

That’s all folks, I’d like to thank each and every one of you that read my columns this year.  Loved them, hated them, or otherwise, thank you for helping me grow as a writer.  I’d also like to put in a special thank you to our stalwart leader’s Hannah Shannon Means and Rich Johnston who make Bleeding Cool the most controversial and interesting place to write on the internet.

BCM13Please go buy the new issue of Bleeding Cool Magazine, which has a nice feature I wrote about IDW’s Shadow Show.  It’s also got the, “Top 100 Power List” go see if you’re on it!  They told me I would’ve made it if they used negatives.

Just a bit of quick housekeeping before I leave you, Typing on The Dead will have a delay this month as I’ll be out of the country and away from electronic devices for a few weeks, but look for it around the 20th.  I’d also like to remind you to read the revived, Live From The Comic Shop, article that Jersey native Christine Marie writes every week from Conquest Comics in Bayville New Jersey.

Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who wants to wish you happy holidays.  If you’d like to send him non-denominational holiday wishes contact him on Twitter @John_Laryngitis.

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.

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