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October’s trucking on, and the releases has mellowed down this week. This week, we’re getting the return of an old WWII series that has also learn its lesson and decided to set the game in more modern times. We’re also getting another return of an old mascot we nearly forgot about. Curious? Read on.

Remember. Release dates are quite literally made at the whims of the publisher.  The following are subject to change without any warning.

 

Releases To Watch For This Week

A missile to the face is still a missile to the face even if it’s made of pink yarn

Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii)

Sunday October 17, 2010

Taking cues from LittleBigPlanet, Kirby’s gone textile. Undoubtedly one of the few games that caught everyone’s attention out of Nintendo’s conference, Kirby has undergone a giant change in art style. He along with everything in the game is made out of arts and craft material. For example, the outline of Kirby is entirely yarn while the world is made of cloth and other textiles. It’s much easier if you just stare at that screenshot up above and try to imagine the entire game with that exact same motif. The game also plays with the fact that everything is made of cloth. The world can be manipulated like you would manipulate cloth. Pulling on a drawstring would contract the background scenery to move platforms closer or reveal a hidden object behind the scenery. Bosses with a loose thread can unraveled outright by having Kirby pull the thread.

As for Kirby, he doesn’t have the ability to suck in enemies anymore. Instead his primary attack is to throw out a yarn to pull on them to either unravel them or turn them into a ball of yarn for Kirby to throw around. That doesn’t mean that Kirby can’t transform though. Simply double tap forward and he’ll turn into a cute little car. While underwater he can turn into a submarine or a dolphin. He’s also not alone. The game has drop-in drop-out, local co-op. At anytime, someone can jump in as the blue king. His role is explained in the story, and he has all the same powers as Kirby. Thankfully, this co-op looks to be a little less frustrating than the one in New Super Mario Bros. It’s been a while since a Kirby game’s got any of us excited, but this one seems to be ready to blow us away, and all it took was a little makeover. Here’s to hoping Nintendo will take this to heart.

 

Medal of Honor (Xbox 360, PS3)

Tuesday October 12, 2010 (PS3 version comes out on Thursday October 14, 2010)
And the war for the military FPS continues. This week, an old contender returns to the ring with a new setting, new feel, and a name that implies more a reboot than a follow up to anything before. Medal of Honor may have started with the WWII genre like Call of Duty, but now, again like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor has gone modern. They’re even taking things one step further by infusing it with a real life setting. Whereas the Modern Warfare series is set in a more fictionalized version of reality, Medal of Honor takes you to Afghanistan against the Taliban forces in the current war. You play as a Tier 1 Operator, a real uber special ops team, who normally works in the shadows doing things that’s absolutely need to be done right. This really wouldn’t be much of a military shooter without the usual big army versus big army style battles though, which is why you won’t be playing as these Tier 1 Operator guys all the time. Sometimes you’ll jump into the shoes of an Army Ranger in the thick of it. From the sound of the previews, the Tier 1 Operator’s missions will usually be relevant to the Army Ranger missions in some way shape or form.

MOH is also taking some notes from Bioshock 2. The multiplayer aspect was developed by DICE instead of EA LA. DICE used a tweaked version of the Frostbite engine, the engine that powers their Battlefield games. Despite that though, they are making it a little bit less Battlefield-y by making the combat faster than that of Battlefield and making the maps more friendly towards close quarters combat. It is class based, but there’s only 3 classes – Rifleman, Commando, and Sniper. Each one specializes in a specific range. Obviously the Sniper will be the long-range class which spawns with a sniper rifle while the Commando will be the up close and personal class given how they spawn with a shotgun. The Rifleman gets an assault rifle for mid-range coverage. There is a kind of a killstreak bonus in the multiplayer mode as well, and the bonus you get appears to be linked to the class you picked. One such bonus is the mortar strike which the sniper can get.

It’s hard to say if going ultra real will differentiate the series enough from the rest of the war shooters around. If you’re just desperately looking for more military shooting and can’t wait for Black Ops, I guess Medal of Honor will have to do.

 

Honorable Mention

Super Scribblenauts (DS)

Tuesday October 12, 2010

Poor Scribblenauts. That game had so much buzz when it was first demoed. Bystanders were in awe by it. Various game journalists couldn’t shut up about it. Then they got their paws on the retail version. Their tune changed faster than they could type in “Keyboard Cat.” That might explain the relative silence around Super Scribblenauts. By all accounts, this game appears to be fixing the busted controls of the first one. Now you can control Maxwell, the guy with the chicken hat, with the D-pad and the B-button to make him jump. With that no longer an issue, it’s rather strange how little buzz this one is getting.  I mean, how many games could go around saying their newest feature are adjectives with a straight face? Some of the strange, kick-ass stories I’ve read from previews involve summoning a pregnant car that will actually give birth to a little car. How about undead bees that are attracted to the exploding brain you’ve just summoned? The nouns you type in can have more than one adjective for it, so the real limit to the weird ass things that can be summoned is how imaginative you are. Well, here’s to hoping you give things a second chance before you go and completely bury it in concrete.

 

Invizimals (PSP)

Tuesday October 12, 2010

Pokemon clones normally rely on having their own share of Pokemon clones to collect, but here’s one that has its own hook. Invizimals, if you’re the reductive type, is really just a Pokemon clone. The only difference is that they’re not in the game. They’re all around us! Invizimals comes with a PSP camera for you to “see” these Invizimals. Once you spot one, you can interact with it by interacting with whatever it is your camera is pointing at. You can theoretically poke them with your finger by moving your finger towards it in real life. You obviously won’t be touching anything, but it’ll react to that finger in the game. The Pokemon comparison starts here. These Invizimals can be captured, leveled, and forced to fight other Invizimals, but the game is always played in real life. The battle system is especially interesting. Some attacks can be initiated by physically casting a shadow in the playing area. Another attack can be activated by blowing into the camera attachment. Did I forgot to mention there’s a microphone in the camera? Admittedly most of these sound a bit gimmicky, and who knows just how inconvenient any of this stuff can be when you’re traveling with it. Nevertheless, augmented reality games have always perked my interest, and this one sounds the most interesting to me by far.

 

Coming This Week

Tuesday October 12, 2010

Borderlands (Game of the Year Edition) (Xbox 360, PS3)

It’s been almost over a year and I’m still playing this game. Borderlands was a real sleeper hit of last year, and they’ve made 4 great add-ons since then. This Game of the Year Edition comes with the download code for all 4 add-on packs and a comprehensive map of Borderlands territories. If you haven’t gotten your mitts on this game, this package is definitely the way to go.

Disney Sing It: Party Hits (PS3, Wii)

Because we just can’t get enough of those Disney generated, teenage, pop sensations, Disney Sing It: Party Hits will have you singing along to songs and music videos from the Disney pop factory, and just to be clear to you east coast folks, they don’t make soda. Although not all of it is from Disney though. The other tracks consist of kid approved/parents tolerated hits by Paramour, Colbie Caillat, and even the Black Eyed Peas.  I take it “My Humps” isn’t included in there then.

Dragon Age: Origins (Ultimate Edition) (Xbox 360, PS3)

In keeping with the tradition of including every DLC, this compilation is Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: Awakening, and all 9 DLCs that has come out for this game. Why put them together you might be wondering? Only because the original 100-hour long Dragon Age: Origins game just wasn’t freakin’ long enough that’s why!

Lucha Libre AAA: Heroes del Ring (ECKM*)

Mexican Wrestling has finally entered the wrestling video game realm. Took’em a while didn’t they? You get to play as some of the real wrestlers from Mexico’s AAA wrestling league. You can basically expect everything you might expect from one of our wrestling games in this one only with the Lucha Libre twist. I’d end this with something in Spanish equating to “rock on,” but I fear my complete ignorance on the subject will only lead me down a dark path.

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Warriors (PS3, Wii)

You know the Koei made Samurai Warriors where it’s basically Dynasty Warriors except set in Japan? Well, this is Capcom’s take on Samurai Warriors. Why it carries the same subtitle as the game it’s basically copying is beyond me though. In Capcom’s defense though, this Samurai Warriors clone does employ some very stylish looking moves done by a guy with not 1, not 2, hell not even 3, but 6 samurai swords which he somehow uses all at one. The other guys in the game also have some sick moves to complement their often ridiculous looks as well.

Zhu Zhu Pets: Featuring the Wild Bunch (Wii, DS)

Damn trailer! I think I’m diabetic now. From the looks of it, this isn’t just a pet simulator game featuring some hamsters and its cousins from nature. It’s also a 2D platformer and a racing game. In case that doesn’t hook you in, each copy of the game comes with a little Zhu Zhu pet as well. The timing couldn’t be better for me. I’ve been meaning to find something to plug that hole in the wall after I punched it.

Arcania: Gothic IV (Xbox 360)

RPGs have a come a long way since the days of nameless heroes saving the lands from darkness all by his lonesome, laconic self. These days, they come with at least one twist to the formula like a talking book or something. Unless of course your name is Arcania: Gothic IV. From the looks and sound of the previews, this European RPG is so set in its traditionalisms that you’d think you were reading a preview for an RPG from the early 90’s or something. Except you’re not.

The Shoot (PS3)

Since the Playstation Move is all about pointing at a screen, an on-rails shooter is a shoo-in for the device. Here’s Sony’s take on the genre. The twist here is that you’re a movie star playing out the role of a character set in a western movie, a horror movie, or a gangster movie. Your enemies are just moving cardboard cutouts. The goal is to please the director with some fancy shooting. You screw up the scene when you get “shot,” which makes the director mad. At least for an on-rails shooter, it has a kind of an interesting premise.

Glacier 3: The Meltdown (Wii)

It’s one thing if this was a snowmobile racing game, but it’s actually a racing combat game with regular cars set in frigid settings. Set aside the fact that these cars can equip themselves with rockets and whatnot, what part of driving around really fast in icy conditions is even remotely conducive to a racing combat game?

Just Dance 2 (Wii)

You know how we normally ignore these dancing games that doesn’t really check whether or not you actually did the right movements moreso than acknowledge that you’ve moved your Wii remote? Not all that easy when said game somehow managed to sell million upon millions of copies. Let’s see if Ubisoft can bottle that same lightning twice with this sequel, which boast new songs and a couple of new modes.

I Spy: Spooky Mansion (Wii)

Long time readers know of my distaste for hidden object games, but I’ll give this one a free pass because it didn’t start out as a video game. Still, I prefer the I Spy books, namely because they’re insanely cheaper than $30. Worst yet, this game’s been available for download at $7! How exactly do they expect people to pay so much for Wii version of games you can download for significantly cheaper?

Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals (DS)

Attention Lufia fans! If you want to make sure your favorite RPG series continues on, I suggest you pay attention to this reimagining of Lufia II. You may have to get used to the various changes they’ve made to the series though like the fact that it’s an action RPG or the complete change in setting and aesthetic. On the bright side, the story is the same.

Petz Fantasy: Sunshine Magic, Petz Fantasy: Moonlight Magic (DS)

Because little kids everywhere are getting sick and tired of taking care yet another puppy or pony, now we’re getting fantastical creature like pegasuses (pegasi?) and unicorns. They even have magical powers! I’m just wondering if there’s any Mogwais in this game.

My Baby 3 & Friends (DS)

With all these baby sims proliferating game store shelves, I wonder when they’ll actually make an honest to god real baby simulator for the DS. They can market it to new parents like those “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” books. Hey Majesco! Are you listening? I’ve just got your next million dollar idea, and I’ll let you have it if you will just please stop making these kinds of games. You know where to find me.

Blazing Souls Accelate (PSP)

Just how popular is this stupid genre? We’ve got ourselves yet another Japanese strategy RPG, and like every one of the series, this one sounds just as impenetrable as the last. The one new concept I did manage to find about this is that the world map and the battle screen are one and the same. I was wondering when someone is going to follow the footsteps of Final Fantasy 12?

 

LTTP

 

I can’t believe I’m excited for a Kirby game. I’ve never been excited about a Kirby game! I take it Kirby is too kiddy for most of you bloodthirsty folks who just want to shoot heads. Well, I hope you enjoy your war games. I’ll be in the corner thinking about pink yarns.

 

* = Every Console Known to Man

 

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