Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Games of August 2012.

July was a near-desolate wasteland, with only The Last Story and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance glimmering against a dark backdrop of nothingness.  August, thankfully, is a return to form, with a good half-dozen interesting titles due to appear.  I'll be picking up at least three of 'em - let's see what's coming down the pipe, shall we?

August 1st
Hype-O-Meter : High.

Microsoft's summer season of downloadables gets real with Tequila Works' Deadlight, a horror-themed action-puzzle platformer.  It looks a bit like a less-ambitious Shadow Complex - and that's actually pretty good company to keep. Leaked reviews have been generally positive, but have burned the game for its four-to-six-hour length.

August 7th
Persona 4 Arena
PS3, 360
Hype-O-Meter : Low.

Atlus teams up with (BlazBlue, Guilty Gear) developer Arc System Works to deliver a fighter teeming with characters from the landmark Persona 3 and Persona 4 RPGs. Knowing Arc System Works, this will be a perfectly well-made fighter, boasting the dev's trademark huge, gorgeous sprites - though one that will be well beyond my ability to master.

August 7th
Sound Shapes
PS3, Vita
Hype-O-Meter : Everyone's talking about it.

Really, the enthusiast press have been drooling over Sound Shapes since it debuted at last year's E3 - and I really don't know what they're excited about.  It seems to be a somewhat-procedurally-generated 2D platformer where the objects you use to negotiate the environment make sounds when you touch them.

I have no idea why that's so interesting, but I'll be keeping an eye out for a demo.

August 14th
Sleeping Dogs
PS3, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter : Keep an eye on it.

United Front Games have zero credit, with me. I didn't enjoy any time spent with Modnation Racers, but Sleeping Dogs looks like a genuinely endearing addition to the open-world genre.  I love the concept and I love the setting, but I can't see myself dropping sixty dollars on an untested developer with an untested franchise.  This will be a game to keep an eye on - to watch reviews and, perhaps, wait until it comes down in price a'la Kingdoms of Amalur.

August 14th
Darksiders II
PS3, 360, PC, WiiU
Hype-O-Meter : Day one.

Vigil Games have a ton of credit with me after 2010's Darksiders - a refreshing riff on the Zelda formula with a lot of M-for-mature action thrown in for good measure and the grand, jazzy art direction of Joe Mad.  I'm a bit concerned that Darksiders II may be concerning itself more with being a loot-heavy RPG than an action game - but Vigil have earned my allegiance, and I'll be giving them my cash on the 14th.

August 15th
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Hype-O-Meter : Day one.

XBox Live's Summer of Arcade concludes with Dust: An Elysian Tail.  The developer promises a sprawling Metroid-like action platformer - but all I care about is that it's an entirely 2D, hand-drawn, gorgeously-animated game.

'Cause that's enough, for a start.

August 19th
New Super Mario Bros 2
Hype-O-Meter : What else are you going to play on your 3DS?

I shall say no ill of a 2D Mario game, and let's face it - the 3DS is dying for games.

August 21st
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
PS3, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter : These games have their market, but it ain't me.

Media were pretty sweet on High Moon Studios' War for Cybertron, and Fall promises more of the same - but polished up with a bigger budget and greater experience. Having never played the last game, I have no affection for its follow-up - but that trailer from the VGAs was pretty sweet.

August 28th
Journey Collector's Edition
Hype-O-Meter : I want someone to buy this for me, but I can't see me buying my own copy.

This thing comes with developer commentary for Journey, Flower and Flow, along with soundtracks for all three games.  That is awesome - and I want that - but I don't really want to buy three games I already own, for the same platform I already have them on, again.

Which, I'll admit, doesn't sound like me, but I can assure you it is.  I hope someone sees this and gets it as a gift for me - one I'd happily accept - but as Fall 2012 heats up, I can't afford to go blowing money on games I already have...

August 28th
Ratchet & Clank Trilogy
Hype-O-Meter : Damnit, I want this.

...unless it's a PS3 up-port of a beloved PS2 franchise. Along with Sly, the Ratchet & Clank games were the standard-bearers for platforming on the PlayStation 2.  With cheeky comedy, inspiring art direction, zany space-bob soundtracks and lots and lots of ridiculous weapons, I'm going to be hard-pressed to convince myself this isn't worth my money or more crucially, time.

August?  We think? 
Mark of the Ninja. 
Hype-O-Meter : Day one.

Klei Entertainment secured my undying allegiance with the sublime Shank 2, and now they seem to be leaping directly at my innermost desires with this lushly-animated, 2D stealth action game. It's exclusive to XBLA, and we don't have a release date nailed down - merely "summer 2012" - but that's enough to get my hopes up.  As soon as it drops - whenever that may be - Mark of the Ninja is a day-one purchase.

* * *

And that's August!  Certainly a welcome return after the endless emptiness of July, and containing some of my more anticipated games of the year.  We've got promising indies, we've got major action games, and  there are also two JRPGs coming out that, to be honest, I've heard nothing about - Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 and Legasista. 

August'll be fun!


  1. I think the reason people are excited for Sound Shapes is because it's being worked on by the guys behind Sword and Sworcery EP.

  2. quick question. . . did anyone else really LOVE ratchet deadlocked?

    the weapon upgrade systems seemed to take a step down after that chapter.

    I dunno, it was kind of repetitive, but had the best story/villain hands down.

    it really grew on me and i was more than a little disappointed it got left out in the collection.

    I'll quit ramblin' now.

  3. Actually that's one of only 2 R&C games I haven't played. Never tried the PSP one either.