By Jared Cornelius
Welcome back to Sweet Release! Bleeding Cool’s look at the new games hitting store shelves and digital platforms this week. This is a weird week in gaming, there’s actually a ton of stuff out, but it comes with a few caveats. The first being, fans of all things Japanese rejoice, this is a big week for you. Fighting, role-playing, and takes on indie favorites all show up this week from the East. The second caveat is we have plenty of re-releases as well, with button mashing, puzzle solving, and revolving limousines.
Fan fiction and fighting game enthusiasts should hold on to respective hat’s for Bandai Namco’s revival of the popular anime fighting series Dragonball Z Xenoverse. From longtime DBZ game developer Dimps who released their first title “Budokai“, way back in 2002, Xenoverse continues their tradition of over the top screen filling attacks and pointy anime characters shouting. In all seriousness, Xenoverse plays at the altered timeline angle, featuring a player created character tasked with fixing history by punching people in the face. Players can choose from 5 races, and customize their character with a figurative ton of clothing options, and interject in the series critical battles. You’ll see all the familiar faces from the show and movies, including Majin Buu, Androids, Cell, and at some point Vegeta will yell, “Over 9000!!!” Dragonball Z: Xenoverse sounds like a fun take on a well-established cannon, and is available Tuesday on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.
After the spooky success of the Resident Evil re-release a few weeks ago, Capcom’s right back at it with Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Taking place between Resident Evil 5 and 6, Revelations is taking steps back from the cover shooting action oriented gameplay that maligned Resident Evil 6 and is moving back to a simpler survival horror tone. The story’s focus is split between series mainstay Claire Redfield, newcomer Moira Burton, and original S.T.A.R.S. team member Barry Burton. The gameplay is geared more on puzzle solving this time around, and features instantaneous transitions between characters, with couch co-op available as an option as well. Instead of giving you the whole thing, Capcom’s broken the game down into 4 episodic bite sized chunks, being released once a week. In other weird news, Revelations will be a cross buy game between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, but not at launch. Confusing I know, but its Capcom. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 1 is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC this week.
So Dragonball Z Xenoverse isn’t the strangest fighting game coming out this week, I’m pretty sure that honor goes to Starwhal: Just The Tip from indie developer Breakfall. The up to four player competitive arena game is somewhere between Towerfall, Miami Vice, and LSD. Although Starwhal’s intended for co-op and multiplayer enthusiasts, it’s also got plenty of single player content and features 32 challenge levels, a bunch of different game-types like “Heartthrob” and unique Narwhale customization with 90 plus costumes, (including a burrito!) Starwhal is the bizarre sea mammal themed Super Smash Bros. you’ve always wanted and it’s available Tuesday on the PlayStation 4, with a Steam version that’s also available.
Publisher Koei must’ve realized two months went by without the release of their cult favorite “Warriors” action series, so they’re going to rectify that with Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires. Another in a long line of re-releases, Empires is the update to last year’s Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends. The 3rd person action hack and slash, tasks players with completing battlefield objectives while dealing with wave after wave of disposable enemies. Empires claims to feature a more advanced strategy element but I’m a little skeptical over that boast. However it does have over 80 characters, a Massive Chalice/Fire Emblem style marriage/lineage system, and that same visceral hack and slash combat that’s made the series last almost 20 years. The “Warriors” games have a ton of different versions, including Gundam, Hyrule, and Fist of The Northstar so this is another of the “you know if you like this” game. Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires is available Tuesday on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
For the retro gamer who wants a twist on their block themed puzzle games, Dot Warrior Games are releasing their I0S puzzler Block Legend DX on Steam. The pixelated puzzler tasks players with matching two or more medieval themed tiles into a group, giving players health, magic or damage when matched. The tiles you match play out on the top of the screen with an 8-bit adventurer facing various increasingly difficult enemies. Level up role-playing game style, and unlock an eclectic cast of characters like Ninja, Witch, and Basketball Player. I played this on I0S and it’s very charming but also very difficult. Block Legend DX released Tuesday on Steam.
Hey look! A PlayStation Vita game that uses the system’s touchpads! (and not in a gross way.) In the bizarrely named htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary, from equally bizarre NIS America, players control a pair of fireflies as they guide a young girl through trapped environments. It strikes me as a little Limbo-esk. For OCD players who don’t want smudged screens NIS has also added analog controls. htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary, released Tuesday on PlayStation Vita. For all our boxed copy fanatics, they had a very small run on NIS’s website so unless you pre-ordered, it’s digital only.
While we’re talking about weird Vita titles, Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is out for Sony’s handheld on Tuesday. The Japanese style role-playing game is about a goddess who’s inspired by Sony’s PlayStation. I’m not sure which one, I’m just going to imagine theirs a demi-god in it named Blasto.
In my own little catch up corner, Roundabout released on the Xbox One last week. I covered this game when it released on PC in September, so let’s jump in the way-back machine and see what I said about it. “The indie game community has been the place for strange and experimental concepts, but perhaps the strangest is developer No Goblin’s Roundabout. In what amounts to an isometric, open-world, puzzle game players pick up clients and drive them across the town of Roundabout in an ever rotating limousine. Players will need to navigate the city streets in time with the limo’s rotation to maximize their use of time and rack up high scores. Roundabout continues its ridiculous cheese factor with a presentation aping 70’s cinema complete with full motion video cut scenes telling the story of Georgio Manos, “The world’s most famous revolving limousine driver.” Roundabout is rounded out with a series of upgradable items, hidden collectables, as well as speed-run and big head modes! Roundabout’s ridiculous premise and attitude are reflected in both visuals and presentation that also drips with loving cheese and schlock that you don’t see from too many games.”
That’s all for this week folks, you can check out my other regular column, Typing on The Dead, where I break down the most recent issue of The Walking Dead. While you’re at it why not check out something by fellow Jersian Christine Marie, like Geek Shopping featuring Adventure Time.
Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who’s not psyched it warmed up today. If you’d like to discuss the value of keeping your pipes from freezing, contact him on Twitter @John_Laryngitis.