It's the month of Halloween and we're already getting some fright-filled games on our weekly release schedule. Additionally, there's medieval warfare and basket-scoring goodness, ensuring a wide enough spread that everyone should be able to find something they want to play in the days leading up to the one day of the year when Western culture as a whole approves of dressing up and knocking on strangers' doors.
After the ending of Resident Evil 5, which implies the demise of the series' greatest recurring villain, it's difficult to see where Capcom thought it could take another entry in the main Resident Evil series. Are we doomed forever to suffer through less-than-compelling spin-offs such as Operation Raccoon City? Well, no. There's still a story to tell, or a cash cow to milk, but either way we're looking at the release of, perhaps, the most ambitious main-series Resident Evil title ever conceived.
The hope is that variety will satisfy all comers. Recent Resident Evil games, the fourth and fifth in particular, shook up what had, until then, been an almost unaltered formula. Tank-like controls gradually melted away in favor of a more natural, fluid movement system while the camera shifted from static angles to an over-the-shoulder perspective. This influenced the combat, which suddenly provided the player with exponentially more control than before. It also did a number on the tense, claustrophobic atmosphere of previous titles, though, as did the cooperative nature of the fifth game (not to mention its action-movie pacing).
Resident Evil 6, instead, provides three campaigns, centered around two returning heroes and a new playable character. The tone ranges from the classic low-ammo, survival-horror roots of the series to balls-to-the-wall, frenetic action ripped from a military shooter. Will it satisfy all stripes or will it, instead, fail to engage anyone by spreading itself too thin? We'll know Tuesday, October 2, when the game hits store shelves and the PlayStation Network.
(PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP, Wii)
I'm awful at basketball, both in real life and on the virtual court, but I can still appreciate the attention to detail that goes into 2K's annual basketball simulation. While this year's entry doesn't aim to do anything as revolutionary as 2k11's Jordan Challenge, it will offer a new method of dribble control for the ball, Kinect functionality on the Xbox 360, and "legendary" teams that are actually playable online this time out. Also, Jay-Z has acted as executive producer on the title, his influence felt in the inclusion of both the 1992 and 2012 US men's national basketball teams. NBA 2k13 hits pretty much whatever hardware you have on Tuesday, October 2.
"Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York."
Lancaster and York, symbolized respectively by red and white roses, did battle on and off for three decades in the fifteenth century over control of England's throne in a period since immortalized by William Shakespeare in a cycle of four plays, from 1 Henry IV to Richard III. The opening line of that last, quoted above, has since become one of the most iconic in theatrical history. But we're gamers, and so our focus is more on the fact that, leading up to that moment, there were bloody, gruesome, medieval battles fought with glimmering armor, swords, spears, and horses.
War of the Roses wants to bring that warfare to your PC, with team-based multiplayer battles in which players take the side of either Lancaster or York, using a customizable soldier in authentic and rewarding medieval combat. With 64-player battles, the scale won't disappoint, either. War of the Roses hits the PC on Tuesday, October 2.
New Little King's Story on the Vita brings one of the Wii's best role-playing surprises to Sony's still-struggling handheld. Featuring Vita-quality graphics and touch controls, it aims to provide a more intuitive experience than the button-based Wii version of the game while, with enhanced character growth, it looks to offer players a deeper experience as well. Reclaim your kingdom when the game hits the PSN on Tuesday, October 2.
Hidden Gem of the Week:
You've probably already played Cave Story. Hell, you may have played it on a Nintendo handheld, whether by way of the DSiWare version or the 3DS, polygonal remake released near the beginning of the system's life-cycle. Some people aren't too keen on that graphical overhaul, though and, with the original visuals nowhere in sight (even the "classic" mode included in that release only altered character models, not backgrounds), and a price tag a little high for a title that sells for under fifteen dollars everywhere else, Nintendo has snuck a second release of the title into their digital download queue.
The eShop release has the sprite-based graphics of Cave Story+, along with all of that version's additional content, along with stereoscopic 3D backgrounds. You can always turn the 3D off, though. This is, arguably, the definitive version of the game, and the price will be right for a portable version, especially since the DSiWare edition can't be purchased on the 3DS. Cave Story will be up for download on Thursday, October 4.
Date: October 1, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*