Here we go again. A week after all the hullabaloo that was the PS4 launch, we’re ready to do it all over again with the Xbox One. Me, I’m pretty happy with my PS4 because Remote Play is the best thing ever. That being said, I do wish there were better games for the system but this is the price you pay for buying a console at launch. If you have an Xbox One on preorder or plan on waiting in line for one, best of luck and be safe. Enjoy your new console when you get home and above all us, keep calm and have fun.
In non-Xbox One news, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds comes out on Friday and by all accounts it’s a pretty rad Zelda game. I’m still knee deep in Pokemon and now have the ability to play every PS4 game I own on my Vita so I can’t see spending money on yet another handheld game, even if it is supposed to be amazing. Luckily, Christmas is right around the corner. Also coming out this week is Mario Party: Island Tour, a game that will have to wait for the Christmas at the heat death of the universe to get played at my house. Hey, do you like farming? If so then Farming Simulator may be for you. If not, well, maybe picking a game called Farming Simulator isn’t the wisest choice. Hey look, another Adventure Time game with a weird name. I’m sure the kids love it. A handheld game I will make time for this week is Tearaway if only to see the game’s cool art style. Hopefully the game itself will also be good. In other news, AC IV comes out on the PC, Need for Speed Rivals comes out on a bunch of non-PS4 platforms, AquaPazza hits the PS3 and the Walking Dead gets a collector’s edition on the 360 and PS3.
This is it folks, week one of our two week entrance into the next generation of console gaming. With both consoles needing day one patches for various levels of functionality, it’s going to be a rough go of things. I think we can take that as a given. That being said, keep calm, keep in mind that all consoles have launch problems and threadbare lineups and for God’s sake, if someone wants to buy a new console at launch (like me) and they’re not taking your games and/or money to do so then by all means, let them have their fun.
The first console out of the gate is Sony’s PS4, which also happens to be the one I’m starting out with. I’ll get an Xbox One eventually, just not at lunch. The PS4 is launching with a bunch of games, too many to list out individually but follow that link and you can stuff yourself with super hi-def goodies. Me, I’m going with Skylanders, AC IV and Killzone. Yeah, two of them are already available on other systems but if I can push more pixels, why not do it? The third is because Killzone is gloriously stupid and sometimes you have to sit back and marvel at Teh Stoopid.
This week brings the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts, the last big release before Microsoft and Sony trot our their consoles and start massaging numbers to declare who “won” the holiday season. I like the above CoD commercial however for it to be realistic, one of them has to be a twelve year old racist, one has to be doing nothing but tea bagging a dead soldier, two of them have to aggressively sexually harass Megan Fox and none of them are work together.
If soldiering isn’t your thing, see if you can drop a few pounds before the busy Holiday Eating season with Zumba Fitness World Party. Or, and here’s an idea, you can stay seated and play The Guided Fate Paradox or Castlevania Lords of Shadow Collection. You know, whatever works. If bugs are more your thing, Daedilic’s Journey of a Roach unlocks on Monday. If bashing monsters is more your speed, Final Exam releases this week. I’d be more interested in reunions if I could bash in a zombie’s skull at one.
As October winds down, games continue to get out of the way of console launches and Call of Duty leaving not much more in the year than, well, console launches and Call of Duty. So far, I have found this holiday season to be pretty damn boring. GTA V continues to impress, but that game came out a month ago. Arkham Origins is exactly what you would expect , so take that for what it’s worth. I still have my PS4 preorder and I have a Swap Force Skylander already purchased for the PS4 version of that game, but one game does not an exciting console launch make. That’s not to say that the other launch games can’t be good, I’m just not interested in buying them at the moment. I guess it’s a statement to GTA V’s staying power that I’ve played it for a month straight, single player and online, and not only am I not finished with it, but I want to keep playing it.
Oh, right, new releases. Battlefield 4 is a shooter with dogs, but I think you’re punching them, not leading them into battle. I could give a rat’s ass about Battlefield so…yeah. If soldiering isn’t your thing, how about pirating? Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag releases this week in all of its swashbuckling glory. I’m sure I’ll play it. I’ve played all of them. Whether or not I enjoy it is another thing entirely. It can’t be worse than ACIII can it?
If pirates and soldiers aren’t your thing, how about wrestlers? WWE 2K14 has those, and lots of ‘em from the looks of it. Sonic Lost World 3DS has hedgehogs, because why wouldn’t it? Angry Birds Star Wars has angry Star Wars birds or maybe birds that are angry at Star Wars? I don’t know. Blood of the Werewolf has blood, werewolves and platforming. I guess I should know what this whole Slender Man thing is, but I don’t because I’m old. Slender: The Arrival is the game of the uh, whatever Slender Man is. Master Reboot is a first person sci-fi horror adventure shooter with memories and what have you. Deadly Premonition, a game I couldn’t play for more than twenty minutes before quitting out of boredom hits the PC as does Football Manager 2014. Finally, Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 releases on Halloween because of course it does.
This is our new dog Finley. He’s a nine week old Corgi mix. Mom is purebred Corgi, dad is a terrier of some sort. I wanted to name him Chuck Finley, the name of Bruce Campbell’s undercover persona on Burn Notice but the family wouldn’t go for it. Finley was a nice compromise as I can call him Chuck Finley and everyone else can call him Finn if they so desired. He is very tiny and very adorable and very scared of Ruby, his 68 lb sister who thinks that it is the best thing in the world that she has a playmate, even if said playmate is smaller than her admittedly huge, cinder block head.
On the gaming side, this week is superhero heavy which is just fine by me even if I won’t get to either of the week’s big new releases in some time. First up is LEGO: Marvel. I quite enjoyed LEGO Batman 2, but I”m not sure if I want to play another LEGO game at the moment. They all tend to blur into one another so it’s important that I keep them separated by a significant amount of time. On the other side of the superhero universe, Batman: Arkham Origins comes out on Friday. If Arkham Origins ends up being 75% of the game that Arkham Asylum or Arkham City is, I’ll be happy. Again, I can’t say I’ll play it immediately, but if it’s good, I’ll play it. I understand that they have to have continuity with the voices and all that, and Troy Baker does a really impressive Joker but I do wish they could have let him go in whatever direction he wanted. John DiMaggio’s take on the voice in Batman: Under the Red Hood was great precisely because it wasn’t a take I would have expected.
This week marks the next salvo in the ongoing war between Activision’s toys and portal series Skylanders and Disney’s toys and portal series Disney Infinity. Skylanders SWAP Force features all new “normal” (non swappable) characters as well as a number of characters that let children dismember robots and squid pirates and then mash them back together in some sort of grotesque Frankenstinian parable of man’s audacity at playing God. It also features jumping. Disney’s response to this bold move is to sit back and wait, knowing full well that the day the release the first set of Star Wars toys, retail outlets the world over will be rent asunder. I do not have Skylanders SWAP Force, nor am I feeling the urge to fill my house with more figures, but once the PS4 drops, I’m pretty sure I”ll heed the call of plastic. When it comes to toys I have long since learned not to make predictions about me not buying things.
Valhalla Knights 3 drops for the Vita this week if you want a “gritty” RPG that lets you befriend female shopkeepers. I know that when I think gritty, I think of friendly shopkeepers. In the “games I never see anyone buy yet they keep making them” file we have a new Wipeout game as well as a new Cabela’s game.
This week brings a big, heaping pile of EMOTIONS to your local game emporium with the release of David Cage’s new game, BEYOND: Two Souls. I have no idea if it’s going to be any good, but I have it heading to me as we speak. I enjoyed Heavy Rain quite a bit even if it was a game that didn’t hold up when you peeked behind the curtain. The bigger release though comes on Saturday when Pokémon X and Pokémon Y come out. I didn’t play much of Pokemon Black 2 but I’m hella excited for X and Y. Experience share, y’all. Experience share.
In other JRPG news, Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness releases for the PS3. Disgaea is yet another game franchise that I just can’t get a handle on. It’s a wee bit too complicated for me. If dancing is more your thing, Just Dance 2014 releases this week for current gen platforms with a release for next gen systems coming later. I’ve always found that the Just Dance games were great for having fun but not so great for learning how to dance or having the game recognize what you were doing as dancing in any way, shape or form. If you haven’t played Super Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 6, Devil May Cry 4, Dead Rising 2 or Megaman 10, the Capcom Essentials (PS3, 360) release has got you covered. Not a bad deal for all of those games.
As summer tunes into fall, one’s thoughts turn to…basketball? Is that true? I have no idea when basketball season starts so I don’t know if NBA 2K14′s (360, PC, PS3) release this week coincides with anything. I also don’t care enough to look it up so there’s that. Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl is a remake of the first Etrian Odyssey only this time with an easier mode, which will certainly help those lulled into a false sense of security by Etrian Odyssey IV. It remains to be scene if the changes made to the series along the way will be missed by those jumping from IV to Millennium Girl. I’d pick it up but with Pokemon X/Y right around the corner, it seems like a silly financial decision. Also new for the 3DS this week is Rune Factory 4 which combines farming and monster taming because who doesn’t equate taming monsters with farming?