New Releases: Week of October 1st, 2012

Welcome to fall, mis amigos! The air is cooler, and so are the games. The tension is ratcheting ever so slowly towards the holiday goodness, and we have two AAA titles to take it up a notch. This week features a 30 year feud, a Torchlight clone with the fun parts removed, men in shorts with dribbling balls, shooting and walking at the same time, Pokemon overkill, and a SEGA Saturn HD remake.

NBA 2K13
I’ve never been a fan of basketball. I was on the 3rd string basketball team in high school and the coaches only played us against the girls basketball team, who always beat us...badly. Real basketball fans may want to check out NBA 2K13. Developer 2K Sports is bringing their most realistic version to every game system in the universe this week. The players look like the players, the stadiums sound fantastic, the players handle better, and those mean high school chicks are nowhere to be seen. Little extras, like players checking themselves for blood after a foul, really highlight the polish on an already solid sports series. The olympic teams and legends return, as well as the “my player” mode, which has been renamed “my career”. Rapper Jay-Z is involved in the project, as an executive producer, and his influence permeates many parts of the game and presentation. NBA 2K13 hits the shelves October 2 for the PSP, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, and PC.
Resident Evil 6
Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy in the house! Seriously, they’re both in this game, along with knucklehead Ada Wong and a couple of new protagonists that I will refer to as Zombiebait One and Zombiebait Two. The series has evolved into more of an action shooter than the survival horror juggernaut that characterized Resident Evil in the first couple of games. So, do you want the good news or the bad news? I thought so. The good news is that players can now move and shoot at the same time, there are multiple campaigns with many different characters, your AI co-op partner is no longer an imbecile, and Capcom knows how to tell a good story. The bad news is that Capcom still likes to tell stories through cutscenes. Resident Evil 6 hits the shelves on October 2, for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles.
Nights Into Dreams
SEGA is taking part in the “lets take an old game and give it the HD remake treatment.” This week’s victim is the SEGA Saturn classic Nights into Dreams. Since the original game was released during an extended blackout that I refer to as “the 1990s” I do not remember anything about this game. It reminds me an awful lot of an awful Sonic game, except the protagonist apparently glides around slowly through rings instead of barreling at breakneck speed through rings. Rated E, for everyone, with a price tag of about $9, this may be a good one for the kiddos, or older kids who loved the original. Available, for download, on PSN on October 2, and on the Xbox 360 on October 5.
The War of the Roses
The 15th Century battle between the House of Lancaster and the House of York gets the MMO treatment. Players control a single soldier in this third-person action game. Gameplay is team-based and up to 64 players can engage each other in massive Team Death Match or Conquest modes. A single player campaign is present, but limited, and is used primarily to train players for the multiplayer portion of the game, likely by gaining XP and levels, as well as game proficiency. Developer Fat Shark halted production of the single player campaign to focus on multiplayer, so don’t expect much from the game if you don’t play well with others. The death of chivalry starts October 2, on the PC.
RAW: Realms of Ancient War
French developer, Wizarbox, and Focus Home Entertainment are responsible for bringing this dungeon crawler to life. Another third-person, kind of top-down view will remind players of Torchlight. The endless grinding, looting, repetitive monsters, and heavy-handed storytelling will remind players of how good Torchlight really is. Already released on XBL and PSN as a downloadable title, RAW is already being panned for its mediocrity. So if you have $15 just burning a hole in your pocket, you could always send it to me, or piss it away on the game I just told you not to buy. It’s your money, do what you want with it.  Available for the PC starting October 4.
Nintendo DS
Pokemon Black and White Version 2
 These games pick up 2 years after the events of Pokemon Black and Pokemon White. The famous characters and teams from the series, like the jerks from Team Plasma, are back, as well as Pokemon’s signature accessibility: newbies can pick up and play like an old hand. Transferring your old game saves from the original will net you some vignettes of what has transpired, story-wise, between games. A new game mode called Join Avenue allows players to build up and populate a part of Aspertia City with merchants and vendors in a sim-like experience. And addition to the Pokedex, called Habitat mode, allows players to see which Pokemon are available for capture in each section of the map. An app called Pokemon Dream Radar allows players to catch Pokemon, in the real world, and send them to their Pokemon Black 2 or Pokemon White 2 game. Catch em all starting October 7. Here’s the trailer; I hope you understand Japanese.

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