We have waited through a sparsely-populated next-gen release schedule since the end of November. Gamers are not traditionally known for their patience. We scream for updates, map packs, car packs...whatever we want, we want it right now. What the next-gen folks want right now are new games. Since we are in the shadow of next week’s Titanfall release, only the PS4 owners get a new next-gen game this week. The rest of us will have to...wait. This week we get some more girl on zombie action, South Park pokes the old consoles with a stick, and Mac users finally get to play last year’s Formula 1 game.
Awesomenauts Assemble (PS4)
Sony finally delivers on what their next gen audience has really been waiting for: a futuristic side-scroller. Way to harness the power of the PS4, Romino Games! This highly anticipated title will be available for download on PSN on March 4.
F1 2013 (Mac)
I know what you’re thinking: Sarcasmo made a mistake in the title, that should be F1 2014. Nope, Mac users are finally getting behind the wheel of last year’s Codemasters game that nobody is playing. I wanted to review this game last year, but game discs are still not available in North America. Mac users would be better served using their device to create a strongly worded email to Codemasters describing what huge dicks they are.
South Park: The Stick of Truth (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone deliver on the South Park newness. The Stick of Truth, written and performed by Matt and Trey, developed by Obsidian in association with South Park Studios, brings the long-delayed Stick to PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 this week. Original publisher, THQ, went away, so Ubisoft picked up the slack. Obsidian scrapped plans for a next-gen release of this turn-based RPG, so what you see is what you get. A powerful artifact was stolen in the town of South Park and it’s up to the boys to save the day. Expect to see Jesus, unicorns, aliens...and probably some cows. This one hits your old hardware on March 4.
The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 2- “A House Divided” (PC, PS3, Mac)
Episode Two continues the story of a little girl who loves zombies and the grown ups who don’t understand her. Carver tracks down Clementine’s new group of survivors, forcing the group to relocate. Apparently, he’s the type to hold a grudge. Telltale is very good at making these episodic games, so don’t miss it. Available for download on PC, PS3, and Mac starting March 4.
So being Canadian, you can probably guess what I was doing Sunday morning. Actually you would be wrong. Every time I turned on the hockey games we were scored on. I am convinced I was the reason the women were down 2-0 in the gold medal game. I stopped watching about half way through the third period and...well...you know what happened. So Sunday morning I did the most patriotic thing I could do and check the game from my phone while I slept in.
Luckily my weird superstitions don’t cross over to the gaming industry. The last couple weeks have been a little slow but maybe, just maybe, things are starting to pick up. Let’s take a look!
Thief (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
A reboot of the classic PC game that started the stealth genre of games Thief by Eidos Montreal looks pretty interesting. Watching the trailer I was trying to decide if this was what a first person Assasin’s Creed would look like or on the other hand maybe a Medieval Mirror’s Edge. Either way, if Thief can deliver on the promise it’s trailer and glowing quotes from other gaming sites hint at then this could be the surprise hit of the year.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PS3, Xbox 360)
I remember Castlevania as a side scroller game. Apparently now it’s an adventure game set in an open world. Also, for the first time you aren’t fighting vampires you are one! THE ONE! Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 has you play as Dracula, who seems to have had a falling out with his buddy Satan. Death is also involved as a mediator of sorts but whose side will he choose? Yours? Satans? My guess is yours so Squad of Evil vs. most Evil is probably how this will play out. That is unless Nickleback shows up then I could only hope Satan would switch sides and team up against the pure evil of Chavril and friends.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Coming to both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is both a 4-player co-op squad based shooter and a 24 player multiplayer game based in the Plants vs. Zombies universe. You can become the beloved pea shooters, sunflowers, cactus and other plants or move to the dead side and play as your favorite zombie (I call Disco Zombie!). I have learned not to discount PopCap games regardless of how odd they sound. Creators of the original Plants vs. Zombies, the epic bio break time waster Bejewelled and the “just one more shot” obsession that is Peggle; Plant vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare could be my new obsession.
Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (PS3)
Released for Nintendo’s GameCube in 2004, Tales of Symphonia is remembered as an excellent JRPG game. Its follow up, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, which released for the Nintendo Wii didn’t quite live up to the bar set by its predecessor. Now bundled together as Tales of Symphonia Chronicles for the PS3, the two tales have received some additional content, a graphics update to 720p and some cleaner textures. If you already own these games I would suggest that you check youtube out for some side by side comparisons first.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
If you are anything like my wife, Mrs. Soup, then Professor Laytons style of storytelling and puzzle solving entertains you while driving you obsessively mad. Professor Layton and the Azron Legacy is the final chapter of this second trilogy of Professor Layton games. As much as she loves these games I am hoping for a sizeable break before the next trilogy starts. Over the years, the success or failure of a number of our camping trips hinged on whether or not she was able to “solve one last puzzle” before going to bed, help pack up for the beach or eat. I may have to “accidentally” leave the 3DS chargers at home this year.
In a strange coincidence yesterday, after firing up Dance Central 3 for the first time in ages, I finished my workout, and checked Twitter to find Harmonix had just announced a new game and is looking for signups for a closed Alpha.
From the press release:
“Today, Award-winning developer Harmonix announced an original free-to-play, music-driven, first-person, multiplayer shooter for PC-Chroma.”
That sounds like maybe combining too many things at once, but the trailer does look pretty cool.
One of the game features is “Music is your weapon” so I’m holding out hope that I can vanquish enemies by making them play Nickelback songs repeatedly. Its awesome ideas like this that will totally get me picked for the Alpha right?!
Harmonix is partnering up with Hidden Path entertainment (of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fame) on the title. The game is for PC and the closed Alpha is Steam only. The full game is due to be available some time in 2014.
My favorite quote about the game in the press so far is Harmonix Publicist Nick Chester’s to PC World:
“Just let people know its not a dubstep shooter.”
For more information on the upcoming game, check out:
Surprise! It’s another slow week in gaming! Although this week doesn’t feature a video game movie tie-in like last week, it does feature another video game reboot of a FPS classic, a compilation of successive sequels of said FPS classic, two Vita-yes, I did say Vita, as in, the PS Vita!-releases, the first DLC for Naughty Dog’s latest gem, another Final Fantasy game-yep, Square Enix is still releasing them!-and a MMO that drops you in the middle of some bad ass mechanized mayhem.
DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Vita)
Well, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? DanganRonpa: THH drops you in the role of high school student Makoto Naegi. Makoto and his classmates must face off against Monokuma-a maniacal bear who traps the students in the school. Those who can murder their friends successfully are promised freedom. Bizarre? Yeah, that’s how this Japanese title rolls. Fight the murderous Monokuma in DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc beginning on February 11th.
Far Cry Classic (Xbox 360, PS3)
For those who may have missed the original, those who long for a return to John Carver’s roots, or those who want to celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of the great shooters, here’s your chance! Crytek’s Classic features a, wait for it…, updated controls, a redesigned user interface and enhanced cutscenes and graphics! Freed from your restraints in the belly of a cargo ship, you may approach gaining your freedom as any spec op would-via stealth, strategy or guns blazing. Far Cry Classic drops on XBLA and PSN on February 11th.
Far Cry Compilation (PS3)
Far Cry Compilation sticks with the 10th anniversary angle and offers players three Far Cry games-Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Hunt down the Jackal while stricken with malaria in war-ravaged Africa, fight your way through an island paradise where warlords and indigenous folks battle one another or play as a cyber commando on the nuclear wasteland that is now earth-it’s all yours for the taking! Immerse yourself in Far Cry’s open world FPS universe beginning on February 11th.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360, PS3)
Players return as Lightning, who awakens from her slumber to find she only has 13 days to save the people of a dying world. Lightning Returns features an emphasis by Square Enix on open world exploration and also includes new weapons, player customization and an action-oriented battle system. Players are given seven in-game days to start the game; more in-game time, up to a maximum of 13 days, can be earned through completion of sidequests and story missions. Who will you save and who will you sacrifice? Begin your quest in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII on February 11th.
The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS3)
Naughty Dog’s first DLC for The Last of Us drops on February 14th. Left Behind takes place before Ellie meets Joel and focuses on her relationship with her best friend Riley while attending military boarding school in the Boston quarantine zone. Just as The Last of Us explored Joel and Ellie’s bond and the events that changed their lives, Left Behind explores the bond between Ellie and Riley and the events that forever changed their lives. If you haven’t yet played this game, you’re missing out on a true gem.
Toukiden: The Age of Demons (Vita)
Players who enjoy Monster Hunter should dig Toukiden: The Age of Demons. Players battle the Oni, demons who are hell bent on destroying humanity, as demon fighting warriors known as Slayers. Toukiden features a robust character creation mode where players can customize characters, weapons and armor. Choose from six different weapon types that you can upgrade and forge as you see fit. Play ad-hoc with three of your friends or choose from the game’s supporting cast of characters. Battle the Oni in Toukiden: The Age of Demons starting on February 11th.
World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
Are you fan of MMO’s? Are you also a fan of armored warfare? Well then, has 2old2play got a game for you! Control massive mountains of machinery as you battle through many of World War II’s epic tank battles with players from all over the world. Choose from several classes of tanks-light, medium and heavy-to suit your playing style. Oh yeah, you can even “snipe” using the games long range howitzers! World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition rumbles onto XBLA on February 12th.
As Sarcasmo deftly illustrated a few weeks ago, here we all still sit, waiting impatiently, to harness the true power of our brand-spanking new next gen consoles. Next gen titles that appeared as tiny specks on the horizon in November now slowly creep closer into view with every passing week. Sadly, we’ve all been through this before at launch: our shiny new consoles taunt us-beckoning us to use them-as we stare back at them anticipating the drop of the first tangible next generation blockbuster. Stay patient 2o2p’ers-the true power of next gen gaming will be here before we know it.
In the meantime, this week’s new releases feature a HD remastered version of an Xbox classic, a new JRPG that plays like a vintage one, a chance to harken back to your childhood and play in Legoland and a chance to stomp around New York City as the big bad wolf.
Bravely Default (3DS)
Who says the JRPG is dead? Developed by Silicon Studio and published by Square Enix, Bravely Default offers all the staples that JRPG fans expect-character driven storytelling, random encounters and turn based battles. Players can choose to either Default-allowing players to store battle points for later use-or Brave-allowing players to execute multiple attacks in a single turn. See what they did there? Bravely Default drops on February 7th.
Fable Anniversary (Xbox 360)
The original Fable is back! Remastered in glorious HD graphics, Fable Anniversary features a completely new interface, Achievements, vastly improved loading times, Xbox SmartGlass support and more promises about game features that Lionhead Studios probably won’t keep. Fancy an evil dictatorship or a righteous, peaceful kingdom? You can choose your path with Fable Anniversary beginning February 4th.
The Lego Movie Videogame (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, WiiU, 3DS)
Similar to cockroaches, Legos will never die. You know what else won’t die? Video game movie tie-ins. The Lego Movie Videogame is the first game in the series with complete Lego environments and promises 15 levels of Lego building goodness along with a slew of playable characters from the movie and previous Lego titles. The Lego Movie Videogame drops on seven (yeah I said seven!) different consoles on February 7th. If you look hard enough you can probably find it for the Atari 2600.
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2-Smoke and Mirrors (Xbox 360, PS3, Vita, PC, Mac)
Telltale’s second episode of its second episodic series continues the adventures of Bigby Wolf in New York City. Play as Bigby as he tries to protect fairy tale characters living amongst the common folk from being discovered. As with Telltale’s previous series, The Walking Dead, your choices will have consequences so choose carefully. The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors drops on February 4th for PC, Mac and Playstation and February 5th for Xbox 360.
2013 marked the end of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation of gaming consoles and the uneventful launches of new consoles by Microsoft and Sony, and to an extent, Nintendo. However, under the shadow of new consoles releasing, we had a year rife with first-party promises and disappointments. We had a new Nintendo console sink into the deep end of the pool, and a Kickstarter console, Ouya, tried to grab a piece of the pie. Through it all we kept playing games. What we may remember about 2013 is the unusually sharp contrast between the very good games we played and the very bad games we ignored.
2013 Game of the Year Nominees
The writing staff here at 2old2play aren’t just writers, we are also massive gamers who play across several different platforms in several different genres, collectively logging in hundreds of hours a week playing games. Despite the fact that we play different types of games on different equipment, we had very little trouble settling on a top five this year. I don’t know if this was indicative of the lack of really good titles this year, or if these five were the standouts in an ocean of great games, but your nominees for 2013 are:
Despite its dismal reception on the PC in May of 2012, Blizzard went ahead with development for the PS3 and Xbox 360, and console players ate it up. Published by Square Enix, Diablo III gave console players all of the level-rushing, demon-slaying, and corpse-looting goodness of the PC title without all of the auction house bullshit and drama that gave Diablo a black eye in 2012.
“Actually, even though it isn't "new" it was new to the XBOX and the PS3 this year but Diablo III is a really good game and even better in Co-op. There is a lot of game in there and Mrs. Soup and I have been moving through it albeit a little slowly for my taste. The problem with playing a game like this with my wife is that she has to micromanage her outfit and weapons which adds hours to the playing time. It used to annoy me...now I just nap.” -ChunkySoup
Ken Levine and Irrational Games had set the bar very high with the original Bioshock, and Bioshock 2 suffered for it. Mid-development changes, a tacked-on multiplayer, and antagonist issues in the second game left gamers hesitant about the third installment in the Bioshock series. Despite moving the game out of Rapture, and putting players up against foes that were neither splicers nor Big Daddies, Irrational knocked Bioshock Infinite out of the park. It turns out that a change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered. Columbia was one of the most interesting and beautiful places that I ever had the pleasure to destroy. Sorry about the mess, amigo.
“I'm enjoying it a lot, the combat is amazing, story is 'holy shit' good, companion AI is revolutionary, pacing is excellent plenty of combat with well spaced out exploration breaks so you don't get combat fatigue. Loving this so far.”-Tank
If the premise of your new game was to take a well-known bad-ass gaming icon with sex appeal and remove both the bad-ass and the sex appeal, there is little chance that your game would get made. Luckily, the folks at Crystal Dynamics don’t pitch their game ideas to me, because the Tomb Raider reboot is a crazy-good game. The game takes an inexperienced Lara Croft and places her in unspeakable peril then adds great gameplay, unforgettable character performances, and a well-written story that bridges the gap between old Lara and reimagined Lara. I hope you didn’t miss this one.
“I haven't even considered MP. I finished the campaign. The game is nearly perfect in my opinion.”-frizzlefry2
The Last of Us
Gamers love zombie games. The Walking Dead and RE6 were both nominated for GOTY last year, and as Clementine and Lee showed us, it doesn’t have to be a headshot-palooza to make a great zombie game. This year, PS3 users got treated to one of the most anticipated titles to come out of E3 2012: The Last of Us. A touching tale about loss, friendship, and humanity after the end contrasted against conflict with human, and once human, rivals.
“The Last Of Us is the first game that ever made me tear up...twice. That game grabs you by all the feels.”-EvolveYourself
“The Last of Us. Nuff said.”-Loki
“ I thought Last of Us was boring. Made it to downtown Boston and gave up.”-ErinAS
Okay, so not everyone thought is was great, but The Last of Us had enough votes to clinch the #2 spot. Naughty Dog delivers again.
2old2play’s 2013 Game of the Year
Grand Theft Auto V
Somehow, the newest game in the most overrated series of all time was the best game we played this year. Michael, Franklin, and Trevor gave the GTA universe a much-needed injection of gaming fun on an epic scale. Rockstar improved on everything that players like about the series: the cars, the missions, and the grand-scale carnage. Sandbox gaming has never been better.
“Despite its flaws, GTA V is the best in the series, and the most fun I had with a GTA game since Vice City. The inclusion of Trevor to the roster allows players to explore a darker side of gaming not generally provided, and certainly not rewarded, to players who don’t necessarily wear a white hat when they game.”-SarcasmoJones
TGIF! To get the weekend started off right, 2old2play is giving away two beta codes for Project Spark today. Project Spark is an explorative and creative game where you can design your own worlds, share your creations and download creations from the community.
Project Spark reminds me of Minecraft but with beautiful graphics that I can stand to stare at for more than an hour. It is currently in beta for the PC with an Xbox One beta coming in February. It is my understanding that if you are in the beta now, that you will automatically be in the Xbox One beta.
NOTE: Project Spark requires Windows 8.1 for it to run on the pc.
How to Enter:
Entries will be accepted until 7:00pm ET with the winners being announced on Twitter sometime around 7:30pm ET.
So you picked up your next-gen console on Black Friday, then got yourself a piece of the newness for Christmas. We’re all muddling through some blah-meh-whatever launch titles with our greedy eyes firmly fixed on Spring, anticipating Titanfall, Watch Dogs, or even Mad Max. I know you’re already sick of the shit you got for Christmas, I’m sick of it too, but with every new week there is new hope for something that will tide us over until the big ones drop.
This week, however, is probably not your week. The best the industry could manage is a free helping of permadeath on the PS4, Raiden hacks his way onto the PC, and a Mid-East loser gets a second lease on life.
Don’t Starve (PS4)
Don’t Starve is a single player survival horror cartoony game that has been free to play on the PC for almost a year now, and will be a free download on the PSN for PS4 players. Don’t get killed by hostiles, don’t forget to eat, and don’t go insane, because death in this game is permanent and levels progress in difficulty. Good luck with that, amigo. Next gen Playstationers can download this freebie starting January 7th.
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance (PC)
Metal Gear’s other protagonist, the oft-maligned Raiden, has been ported to PC in all of his goofy glory. It may look better on the PC, but it’s still Raiden. Wake me up when Snake decides to show up...and get that jaw looked at by a real doctor. Raiden may be a weenie, but he has a pretty cool sword. PC players can download this awesome collection of cutscenes starting January 9th.
Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta (PC)
At last, Steam users will be able to download the almost universally hated episodic Uncharted rip-off, set in the Middle East. Who knows? Maybe they fixed it or something...but don’t count on it. Saudi dev, Semaphore, has also made Unearthed available for iOS, but scrapped plans for XBL and Wii. Expect to not be blown away. Available now for PC.
So, you picked up your shiny, new PS4 last week, tried to download the update on a crowded network, only to find that your machine is broken and Sony won’t take your money. But since we’re all made of money and had the foresight to not cancel our Xbox One pre-orders on a whim, we have an unprecedented week of new releases and XBONE launch titles to look forward to this week. I hope you haven’t maxed out your credit cards already...you’re going to need them.
XBox One Launch Titles
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Other New Releases
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know!
It’s here! The next generation of gaming is upon us! Along with Friday’s midnight launch of the PS4 we have a varied slate of new releases including a new hack and slash RPG, a MMO set in the golden age of aviation and the hotly anticipated release of new DLC for GOTY candidate Bioshock Infinite.