Sunday, January 30, 2011

The games of February 2011.

February's lineup is not quite as varied as last month, but with four notable releases and two promising downloadable titles, there's still more than a bit to look forward to.

February 1st
Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2
Hype-O-Meter: Medium-low.

Bionic Commando: Rearmed is one of the better DLC games out there, and - along with Mega Man - one of the only classic franchises to successfully negotiate HD development, and prove awesome. It's a delicious, unique, old-school platformer.

Rearmed 2 seeks to capitalize on this success with a whole new campaign and the (gasp!) ability to jump - but I can't say I have much faith in Swedish developer Fatshark. I've never heard of these people, I can't point to any great game they've assembled in the past, and I feel rather strongly that Rearmed succeeded so well because it treated the classic NES game as a sacred text, and made no major changes. Rearmed 2 is going its own rout - and I can't say I'm entirely optimistic at the prospect. Still, it bears watching.

February 9th
Hype-O-Meter: High.

I'm probably going to day-one Stacking, simply because it's the next thing from Double Fine (Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, Psychonauts) - but beyond that, it's easy to watch a few gameplay videos and instantly understand what the deal is. It's stealth and puzzle solving and multiple unique abilities and a crazy-unique art style.

Oh, Double Fine. I love you.

February 15th
Marvel Vs Capcom 2: Fate of Two Worlds
PS3, 360
For me? Zip. For fighting game enthusiasts, it's a day-one.

Capcom's classic series returns from its eleven-year hiatus with what is inarguably the most anticipated fighting game of the year. It's big (with 40 playable characters), it's flashy, and it plays so damned fast you'll miss it if you blink. Folks may have oohed and ahhed at the Mortal Kombat reboot's return to gory form, but make no mistake - this is likely the fighting game of 2011.

February 15th
Gears of War Triple Pack
Hype-O-Meter: It's a re-release, so not much.

Microsoft's thoughtful re-release contains Gears of War, Gears of War 2 and a code for Gears 2's All Fronts download pack. Let us not split hairs, here - a $30 price tag for two great games is a wonderful deal, assuming you didn't already buy them - but honestly, how many gaming enthusiasts with a 360 don't already have Gears?

Folks who came on board with the 360S, perhaps - still, if you have a 360 and you haven't taste-tested this heavyweight series, there's never been a better time.

February 22nd
PS3, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter: Medium-high.

I'll admit, my anticipation for People Can Fly's first title since Epic Games bought them out fizzled a bit when I tried the demo, and I've been kept from giving it more of a chance due to a debilitating Dead Space 2 addiction - but I still have high hopes for Bulletstorm. It still could be a fun-as-balls game - I think I just need to spend more time with it to know for sure.

It may be wise to wait for reviews, but for now I'll just put some preorder money down on this month's final game of note.

February 22nd
Killzone 3

Killzone 3 is a very known quantity. It will be a tactile, stunningly good-looking shooter, and incredibly immersive - and the latter is all I really need to know, when it comes to FPSes.

* * *

A pretty sparse month, all things considered. I wonder what's coming up in March..?

Hm. Dragon Age II, Yakuza 4 and Crysis 2. Well, those'll be cool - but that's all that's coming out in March. All hail February!

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