It’s sequel city this week, but not the usual kind. Sure one builds upon the predecessor in logical ways, but another is a total re-building of a franchise, about as dramatic at Mortal Kombat’s. Plus you also have a game that’s basically a “take two”, to address qualms from the players, to such a degree that’s it’s practically unheard of, at least in the world of video games.
For years, the one true name as it pertained to ultra realistic racing in a video game was Gran Turismo. Many tried their best to slay Sony’s beast, but they all failed for whatever reasons. But unlike titles like Enthusia Professional Racing, which came and immediately went, Microsoft has been determined to be the king of that mountain. And after numerous tweaks and refinements, the 4th installment of the Forza franchise is easily their best effort yet. But is it enough to finally be the king of that mountain? Maybe, thanks to features like being able to import your progress from part 3 and AI that adjusts to how the player performs. Basically, it’s being mindful of the player and not forcing them to jump through the same hoops over and over again, which at this point, after five editions, GT fans are basically sick of. Plus the addition of Kinect support and a tie in with BBC’s Top Gear is icing on the cake. Don’t forget the far superior online experience! I’ll take that any day over the ability to take pictures of my car, sorry Sony. Though maybe you can do that in Forza too? Not 100% on that one. Xbox 360
Everyone knows this year’s comeback kid when it comes to video games: Mortal Kombat. While the Ace Combat franchise hasn’t desperately needed a reboot like MK, it’s certainly a series that pretty much no one has talked about for literally years. So perhaps massive changes have been necessary all along? Which includes scrapping the fictional universe that the games have traditionally take place and placing the action in the here and almost now (the year 2015 to be exact). Everything is instantly recognizable, all the locales, thanks to actual satellite photos being utilized. Story-wise, New York Times best selling author Jim DeFelice, who has penned a tale that deals with some kind of super weapon, but you can bet that it’s going to seem far more authentic and believable than in AC games past (as well as just flat out more engaging). There’s also a brand new dogfight mode that brings the action far more front and center than installments past. So no more flying after tiny dots on the screen, thank goodness. There’s even the addition of helicopters and more tightly constructed set pieces, which offers a taste of the theatrics seen in other military titles, mostly first person shooters like Modern Warfare, but without actual running around on the ground, with your feet. It’s indeed a brave new world, but one that everyone’s realizing they’ve sorely needed without actually realizing till now. PS3, Xbox 360
So the sequel to the original Dead Rising basically gave everything that every fan of part 1 could have wanted… more zombies onscreen to kill, more ways to do so, a greater degree of interacting with the environments, a far less stricter play structure, etc. But there was just one problem… the new guy? He was okay, but he was no Frank West either. So in a completely unprecedented move, Capcom is redoing the game, under the guise of a “What If?” Which stars the investigative journalist, not some down and out motocross dude, like God had originally intended. Naturally, the change in personality and occupational background has warranted a number of changes: like altered or completely new missions, cut scenes, enemies to tear apart, and more toys to tear them apart with. The photography mode from the original back, along with a totally brand new sandbox mode, plus that pesky time limit is FINALLY gone. Bring on the gore! PS3, Xbox 360, PC