By Jared Cornelius
Welcome back to Sweet Release! Bleeding Cool’s look at the new games hitting store shelves and digital platforms. After a long and eventful year, 2015 is almost in the bag. So with that, it’s time to do some end of the year housekeeping. First and foremost, thank you for reading, Bleeding Cool doesn’t exist without readers like you. You make it a joy to write for Bleeding Cool and I’m proud of the content that I and the site produce for you. Secondly a big thank you to our departed EIC Hannah Means Shannon who brought me into the BC family. Finally a special thank you to our own Patrick Dane who’s done a great job shepherding the games content for the site. OK now that all the warm fuzzy feelings are out of the way, let’s talk about the rest of the month’s releases….there’s nothing coming out. Now I’m being hyperbolic, but there really isn’t much on the calendar until January. That being said this is the time of the year where I cram the all of the month’s games into one article and spend the rest of the December drinking and feasting on waffle iron hash browns. So let’s dive in with the biggest release of the month, toys!
Disney Infinity 3.0 has been a sales powerhouse in the “Toys-To-Life” genre. Whereas this year is by far the most crowded between Skylanders Superchargers, Lego Dimensions, and Nintendo’s Amiibo, Disney Infinity has set itself apart from the rest of the pack. It may be in part to Skylanders getting stale, the high price point of Lego Dimensions or just a resurgence in popularity with Star Wars, but Infinity is the clear winner of the plastic toy fight this year. It seems that everyone is in love with Star Wars again and with anticipation for the movie boiling over, fans are ready to throw money at anything with the Force Awakens label on it.
Disney is not blind to this phenomenon and is getting ready to release a wave of Infinity figures and a playset to go with the à la carte action adventure game. Releasing the same day as the movie, Infinity has a brand new playset that includes Rey and Finn along with a Force Awakens themed level pack.
Single figures include Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron.
There’s also a ten dollar pack of power disks with alternate costumes, an extra vehicle, and a combat assist.
Do you enjoy kaiju monster movies? Not just on the basis of big monsters smashing into things, but also the utter cheese of terrible dialog from the military force fighting against them? Then grab your rocket launcher and get ready to join the Earth Defense Force! The third person shooter started back in Japan as part of a budget game line called Simple 2000 in 2003. The series evolved slightly with two entries in the franchise before landing on US shores and making a big splash on a young Xbox 360 with Earth Defense Force 2017. Now EDF isn’t going to win any game of the year awards, in fact the games have been famously buggy with defeated enemies melting though the environment and buildings crumbling when struck with a single rocket. But that jankiness is part of the game’s charm, making EDF the game version of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie.
So now that I’ve expounded the series virtues, I’m happy to tell you that we won’t be getting one, but two EDF games this month! The first is the brand new, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair on PlayStation 4. EDF 4.1 continues the series tradition of shooting the crap out of giant alien robots and bugs, earning new and more powerful weapons. 4.1 does come with the addition of classes including Ranger, Air Raider, and Fencer and has over 98 online missions to test your mettle in co-op.
The second EDF title is actually a remake of the second game, Global Defense Force, entitled Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space. Is that not the best name ever? Releasing on the Vita, Invaders From Planet Space has a lot of the same hooks as it’s console big brother including online co-op, but obviously a bit scaled down. Developer Xseed is also touting a new English translation and over 78 online missions. These games are stupid, but let yourself go and EDF can show you a great time. Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair releases December 8th on the PlayStation 4, while Invaders From Planet Space releases the same day on PlayStation Vita.
Its been a while since Japanese game designer Tomonobu Itagaki put out one of his signature hardcore action games on any console, so it was all the more surprising when I found out his next title would be a Wii U and PC release. Devil’s Third is the latest in a long line of hardcore third person combat games from the eccentric developer and his new studio, Valhalla Games. Playing as “Ivan” a burly man with a bunch of tattoos, you shoot and slash a bunch of similar looking soldiers. I’d go into greater detail, but the word on the street is that Devil’s Third isn’t very good, with the chief complaints being unfair and uneven difficulty along with some big time frame rate issues. Consider it a warning, but if you’re interested Devil’s Third releases Friday the 11th on the Wii U. The PC release is TBD.
Finally we end out with a PC release of Arrowhead Studios hardcore isometric shooter, Helldivers. The twinstick shooter is a bit like the unofficial Starship Troopers game, with players working in groups of up to four players to defeat an alien menace on “Super-Earth“. Helldivers is no joke on the hardcore aspect with friendly fire being turned on from the start, and player controlled orbital drop pods routinely crushing co-op players. You might enjoy Helldivers if you picked up any of Arrowhead’s other games including the Gauntlet reboot which is free with PlayStation Plus this month, or their co-op wizard series, Magicka. Helldivers releases Thursday the 7th on PC, with a cross-buy version available on Sony’s consoles.
That’s all for this year folks! See you in 2016 with some new content and more new games. Happy holidays, I’m off to make hash browns!
Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who really likes hash browns. Ask for his world famous waffle iron hash brown recipe on Twitter @John_Laryngitis.