By Jared Cornelius
Welcome back to Sweet Release! Bleeding Cool’s look at the new video games hitting store shelves and digital platforms. With summer coming to a close and August only a few days away from being over it seems like it all went so fast. After what amounted to a pretty dry summer here we are in the last week of the month, looking down the barrel of a pretty loaded week of games. That’s right friends, the waters are being tested and we’ve got some of the first big games of the “fall” season hitting shelves this week. Despite a couple of them being high definition remasters, there’s a good mix of genres that should satisfy a wide range of tastes. So throw some hot dogs on the grill and pop a couple of tall boys as we run thought summers last hurrah and usher in fall’s coming out party.
Open up those wallets and prepare to lose some cash as the newest edition of the popular Disney Infinity franchise hits store shelves with their 3.0 version. This time around the theme is squarely focused on Disney’s newest cash cow, Star Wars. The 3rd person action game allows players to choose an a-la cart experience from the game, buying figures and playsets that when placed on a USB portal appear in the game for use. The starter set comes with the game, portal, Twilight of The Republic playset, with Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker figures. The initial run of toys includes Yoda, Obi Wan single figures with Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader getting released later in September. The series also continues the tradition of adding plenty of other characters from the house of mouse including the cast of Pixar’s Inside Out, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and that snowman from Frozen. Infinity 3.0 has also reportedly received some upgrades in the controls with tweaks to some of the existing mechanics and an emphasis on tighter more focused gameplay. Disney Infinity 3.0 releases Sunday for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U.
Microsoft’s Gears of War franchise has been one of peaks and valleys for me. The series epitomizes everything about the last console generation including big burly men in military gear, tan and grey color schemes, cartoonish violence, and chest high walls everywhere. That being said I did play and enjoy three of the four games so there was absolutely something to the series that not only caught my attention, but the attention of a wide audience making it a huge hit for Microsoft and developer Epic Games. So it was no surprise when Microsoft announced Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, a high definition remaster of the original game for the Xbox One. The game revolves around a war between the remains of humanity and an underground race of creatures called Locusts, with the central character, Marcus Fenix, holding one of the only clues on what may be able to stop the enemy threat. Ultimate Edition still has all the multiplayer modes from the original and includes some obvious upgrades like better visuals, running at 60 frames per second and 1080p resolution. The good news is it also includes some great extras like content that was exclusive to the PC version, digital issues of the comic series, and access to all four original Gears of War games through Xbox’s upcoming fall backwards compatibility update. For a limited time you’ll receive vouchers for digital copies of Gears of War 1-3 and Judgment, so not a terrible deal when you factor the value in. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition released exclusively for the Xbox One on Tuesday.
While we’re on high definition remasters, we might as well talk about Dishonored: Definitive Edition from Bethesda Softworks and Arkane Studios. The first person stealth action game received a ton of accolades back in 2012 for doing something creative with stealth and building it in a genuinely interesting world. Taking place in the fictional city of Dunwall, you play as a disgraced guard, framed for a crime you didn’t commit. After being conscripted into becoming an assassin you set off to clear your name and find the true parties involved. Dishonored’s highest marks came from its unique design and powers that let you tackle assassinations in a number of different ways including stealth, possession, and straight up combat. The series also had a surprisingly good voice cast, including Game of Thrones Lena Headey, Star War’s Carrie Fisher, and Susan Sarandon. Like Gears, Dishonored comes with the standard re-release upgrades including visuals and frame rate, but also adds all the downloadable content too. I know this has been free on both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus so $40 might be a hard sell, but it’s a genuinely creative and interesting title that deserves a look. Dishonored: Definitive Edition released Tuesday on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Let’s get spooky with Sony’s new horror adventure game, Until Dawn. When eight friends get trapped at a mountain resort they’ll have to make tough choices and quick decisions to get out alive. With a vibe not unlike Heavy Rain, Until Dawn’s quick choice gameplay offers players branching paths for a series of different endings. Until Dawn’s mostly about the story so no spoilers. Until Dawn releases Tuesday on PlayStation 4.
Might #9 might have been put back into development for a while, but if you’re still craving some of that classic 2D platforming action goodness look no further that the original blue robot in Capcom’s Mega Man Legacy Collection. Despite having a tiff with series creator Keiji Inafune a few years ago, Capcom clearly put a lot of love into this collection featuring the first six Mega Man games with a ton of extra content. Capcom reached into the vault and pulled out production art, sketches, and enemy databases for a museum mode and added a music box mode with easy access to all of the soundtracks. Perhaps the best extra is a filter that adds CRT television lines to your fancy HD television to give the games a really classic feel. Although the game launches this week, Capcom have already announced a boxed version hitting store shelves sometime in 2016 for $29.99. I should note that the digital version releases at $14.99 so downloadable content is pretty much a given. The Mega Man Legacy Collection released on PlayStation 4 and PC on Tuesday with an Xbox One release Wednesday.
It seems like a while since we’ve had a Dynasty/Samurai Warriors style hack and slash, so let’s fix that with One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 from Bandai Namco in collaboration with Koei Tecmo. The 3rd person action game drops you into a world full of disposable enemies, with light objectives like rescue character A, or defeat character X. The joy of the series comes from chaining together over the top attacks to defeat hundreds of enemies, it’s a simple formula that has its roots in the classic beat’em-up and brawler genre. The hook of this particular flavor of Warriors game is revolving around Japan’s popular One Piece anime/manga series. Following the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy who’s essentially a plucky anime Mr. Fantastic with a misfit pirate crew. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 released Tuesday on PlayStation 4.
It’s almost football season which means it’s time for EA Games to shove the annual version of their long running Madden series out the door. Don’t get me wrong I’m stoked for football season, it’s just Madden never grabbed me, especially when they only slightly iterate the features every year making you buy the same game with a few new bells and whistles. This year’s version boasts enhanced passing, receiving, and defense, an NFL Dynasty mode that puts lets you micromanage a team, and “Integrated Broadcast Graphics” for the authentic NFL experience. You already know if you want this or not, so don’t let my cynicism scare you off. Madden NFL 16 released Tuesday on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
That’s all for this week folks, make sure to check out my other regular column, Typing on The Dead, where I review and dissect the latest issue of The Walking Dead. Also check out your local comic shop for the latest issue of Bleeding Cool Magazine where I interview Joshua Williamson.
Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who wants a hot dog and a tall boy. Hook him up over @John_Laryngitis on Twitter.