Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Games of September 2010.


This September features an impressively large roster of games, but aside from Reach, the majority of September's titles are aimed at their own very specific, very loyal audiences. Most of these titles don't appeal to me, but I feel it's best to be inclusive - even if I am about to show off my remarkable level of ignorance towards certain franchises.

I'll do my best not to be too snarky about some of them - but in some cases, no doubt, I won't be able to stop myself.


September 7th
NHL 11
sports
multiplatform

I don't know about you, but nothing in a GameStop is more depressing than the five hundred sports games from years past, all marked down to $2.99.


September 7th
R.U.S.E.
real time strategy
multiplatform

R.U.S.E. is notable for being the first console RTS to utilize Sony's Move controller. Whether or not that proves to be the leap the genre requires on consoles remains to be seen.


September 7th
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
action RPG
PSP

Kingdom Hearts just keeps on trucking with this PSP exclusive. Repent, ye PSP Go owners! For Birth by Sleep is only available on UMD! For those with a 1-3000 series, though, there's little doubt that a top-of-the-line action RPG awaits, with Kingdom Hearts' solid mechanics and Square Enix's sky-high production values. Plus, Mickey Mouse is somehow a badass in this world.


September 7th
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
action
multiplatform

Some folks have high hopes for Shattered Dimensions - I even know a dude at the office who preordered it. I do, honestly, hope such faith is rewarded, but I'll be keeping an eye on Shattered Dimensions from across the room, with a guarded hand over my wallet.


September 7th
Tom Clancy's HAWX 2
arcade flight action
multiplatform

The original was a half-decent high-def arcadey-style game in which you fly awesome planes and blow crap up. HAWX 2 promises more of the same.


September 14th
Halo: Reach
FPS
Xbox 360

If there is one game in September, this is The Game.

Now, this is a PS3-centric e-publication - it's entirely possible that if you're reading this, you may have never played a Halo title, and when (if) you see videos for Reach you may wonder what the heck the big deal is. The graphics are fine - actually, they're the massive leap fans of the franchise have been waiting for since, well, Halo 2 - but the levels are so sparse. Compared to any other game, Reach looks almost empty.

The reason Halo is huge isn't (just) because it's Microsoft's flagship franchise - it's because these games, in terms of mechanics, are rock solid fun. They have amazing balance and a great feel to them, particularly when it comes to the multiplayer component. Halo is king for a good reason.

Short version: it's Halo.


September 14th
DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue
action RPG

PS3,360

While the Spartans engage in their doomed struggle to save Reach, I will be dashing over rolling hills and whacking enemies with hilariously-named weapons in Hothead Games' sequel to the lovely DeathSpank. Oddly, I don't feel I'm getting the short end of the stick.


September 24th
Sid Meier's Civilization V
strategy
PC

It's been five years since Civilization IV, and for fans of the incredibly intricate and complex Civ games, this is their only guaranteed purchase in 2010. What is Civilization? It's... hard to explain. You guide your civilization from ancient times right through to the future and attempt to "win" through various conditions - which may not actually have anything to do with, for example, killing off other cultures.

Weird, right?


September 22nd
F1 2010
racing
multiplatform

Some folks love it.



September 28th
Dead Rising 2

action horror
PS3, 360

Likely my only disc-based purchase in September, Dead Rising 2 was actually developed by Canada's Blue Castle Games - not Capcom. Fortunately, they seem to have almost entirely adhered to Dead Rising's formula, right down to the fact that there's still no auto save. Hey, at least they gave us two more save slots, right?

Here's what I want from Dead Rising:

(1) Hordes of the shambling undead.
(2) A bunch of zany things to kill them with.

To me, it's the simple pleasures that make life worth living.


September 28th
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
platform action puzzler
multiplatform

It's been available on XBLA since August 18th, and got a rather amazing critical response - but I still refuse to believe it could be as good as everyone says. I want you to be awesome, Lara, but you've hurt me so many times before.


September 28th
Quantum Theory
cover-based shooter
PS3, 360

In all likelihood - based on everything I've seen - this sci-fi fantasy Gears clone is going to be pretty awful, and it's going to sell even worse. But I've been wrong before.


September 28th
FIFA Soccer 11
sports
multiplatform

For the enthusiast.



September 30th
Final Fantasy XIV Online
massively multiplayer onling RPG
PC
Square Enix have made huge changes to the formula they applied in Final Fantasy XI Online. Everything from the way your character gains strength to the job system has changed. They've even limited the amount of time you can play a single character (without "tiring" them out, thus earning less XP) to a little over an hour a day - an absolutely stunning move for any MMO, particularly an RPG.

Final Fantasy XIV is coming to PC and PS3 - but its not planned to arrive on the console until March of next year. It will be worth it to keep an eye on FFXIV's PC debut, and see if the sweeping changes Square has made to their MMO make it worthy of consideration.

5 comments:

  1. Valkyria Chronicles II and Halo: Reach are my only two purchases for the rest of this year, and probably well into next year, because I'm poor. Of course, I'm a huge Halo fan who has nearly every piece of consumable media available from the franchise, so I just had to go with the Legendary Edition, which is about USD$150. That is why I'm poor (at least until I start tutoring the new physics students below me).

    I'd also love to get into FFXIV, but I don't have the kind of time required to invest into an MMO. I should say, however, that if that Firefly/Serenity MMO ever actually happens, I'm jumping on that like, well, flies on poop.

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  2. Ah, but FFXIV is designed with you in mind, oh time-constrained gamer! You can only play a character for an hour a day before your toon gets "tired" and you suffer diminishing returns on... well, everything you do!

    It's like it was designed for you.

    ...though I wonder how much they're going to charge for a game that you can, effectively, only play for eight hours a week (if you only have one character)?

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  3. Also: yeah, if I didn't have a thing for risky, underdog titles (Vanquish, Enslaved) there's only like two games I'd get this fall: Fallout New Vegas and probably Assassin's Creed brotherhood.

    But no special editions. No sirree. You've burned me before, Ubisoft.

    Oh, and maybe Kirby. And of course the Sly Trilogy.

    ...I'll stop now.

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  4. It's not so much that I'm time-constrained (not that I'm not, but that's not the main problem), it's that I don't want to get addicted to MMO-ing. Also, when I read that, I figured you'd be playing multiple characters. But after thinking about it for a while, an hour or so a day of MMO-ing in a Final Fantasy universe would be so many kinds of awesome, so I may get the PS3 version if the tutoring goes well.

    When it comes to special and limited editions, it really depends on the developer and their publisher. I've gotten all of the special editions for all of the Halo games (except 2; I didn't get Halo 1 & 2 till about a year and a half before 3 came out, and my GameStop didn't have any copies; I was sad :'( ), and I have yet to be even remotely disappointed by any of them. I also got the Dragon Age: Origins SE (you really can't go wrong with a cloth map like the ones from early- to mid-90s games and tons of free (and actually good) DLC) and the SE for Mass Effect 2. Those are the only SEs I've ever gotten, but I would've gotten a Borderlands SE if there had been one. And Valkyria Chronciles 1 & 2, but that may be a bit too much to ask at this point in the series' history. Maybe for 3 ! ^_^

    I should also mention that the BioShock 2 SE, with the LP and everything, looked amazing, but I didn't have much money when it came out, so I never even got the standard edition. I saw one about a month ago at Best Buy, but one of the corners was super beat up :/

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