New Releases: Week of March 31st, 2014

So new release Tuesday happens to fall on April Fools Day this year and there are several games releasing. I am going to try and hit the ones I think are the most noteworthy so I apologize if I leave one of your favorites off. I was also trying to rack my brain for some kind of April Fools joke but honestly I can’t top the release of Goat Simulator. I can just imagine a bunch of disgruntled game programmers getting drunk and throwing stupid ideas out at each other and...yeah...Goat Simulator. As I write this, it is also Opening Day of the MLB so what better way to celebrate then to overuse baseball analogies! It’s the top of the third inning and the “PC Master Race” have hit a grand slam while the "MS Fanboys" are in the dugout with nothing to show but a walk to first. In other news, both the Playstation and Nintendo teams are on top but it’s actually their farm teams this week that are really starting to shine!

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, WiiU)

So if you are a fan of the recent slate of Batman games and you were jealous that your Vita and 3DS buddies got to play a 2.5D offshoot of Batman: Arkham Origins and you didn’t, well come April 1st you get your chance! As a $20 download only title for PC and Consoles, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe comes complete with upgraded HD graphics and sound! Woohoo??? Is an updated handheld game worth your $20? I guess that depends on how many bats you need in your life. Maybe the trailer below can help guide your decision.


Goat Simulator (PC)

So watch the Dead Island-esque trailer below and ask yourself this question: Does the world really need Goat Simulator? I guess your answer depends solely on how twisted your sense of humor is along with your tolerance for plain and nonsensical idiotic fun! I don’t think there is a lot of “game” here but I could probably waste a couple of hours dragging dudes onto a treadmill and shooting them out a window or taking them for rides on a goat endowed with a jet pack. Goat Simulator chews its way onto your hard drives on April 1st.


Halo: Spartan Assault (PC)

So if you are reading this and scratching your head wondering why Halo: Spartan Assault is on this list, please know that I did the very same thing. I own this game on my Windows phone, my Win8 rig and my Xbox One. Why is this showing up as releasing for PC...again? Well, it turns out that Halo: Spartan Assault is launching April 4th via Steam for all Windows machines for those who weren't brave enough to jump into the Win8 pool. This is a decent game and if you have a 360 controller on your rig it’s even better.


Mercenary Kings (PS4)

So being bi-console-curious I tend to play around with the Playstation 4 kiosk whenever I can. I still have ongoing issues with the controller but I have to admit that the system looks good and the kiosk games look great. That being said, I don’t really know where Mercenary Kings fits in on the PS4 platform. I don’t want to knock Mercenary Kings as I know what it’s going for here but it definitely is not pushing the boundaries of the PS4’s capabilities. Hell, I have piMame running on an overclocked Raspberry Pi that seems like it could run this. Yeah, I know graphics aren’t everything but sometimes they help. That being said, Mercenary Kings is free to PlayStation Plus members on April 1st so if you are a member you should check it out. The rest of you have to pony up $20 or go find a rom of Contra to fill that gap.


MLB 14: The Show (PS3, Vita)

Given the complete lack of baseball games on any other system, MLB 14: The Show for the Playstation 3 is, by default, the definitive Major League Baseball experience. I am not trying to be facetious here as, unlike other sports games without competition, the MLB series consistently puts out great products year after year. You loyal PS3 and/or Vita owners can get your mitt on MLB 14:The Show on April 1st while those waiting for it to release on the PS4 must wait until May 6th.


The Elder Scrolls Online (PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One)

I would assume at this point in time nearly every Elder Scrolls fan said their goodbyes to family and friends and retreated to their basement lair. They fired up their water cooled SLI-ed geForce Titan rig with triple 27” monitors, stocked the beer fridge with Mountain Dew, cleaned out the neighborhood 7-11 of Doritos and arranged for pizza to be delivered every 24 hours. Early access to The Elder Scrolls Online already began and the rest of the world will join in on April 4th. The question is this: Can The Elder Scrolls Online come anywhere near the success of World of Warcraft? I know the trailer below is not indicative of actual in game footage but if the gameplay and story can elicit the emotion and brutal combat shown then I believe it has a chance.

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