All three of this week’s new releases have their work cut out for them. The first two are follow-ups to less than wonderful releases, and have the unenviable job of winning back their audiences. And the third is trying to kick-start a new IP, which itself is damn near impossible in this day and age. But hey, what better way and better time to start off a new year, right?
As the sixth official entry in Namco’s weapon based fighter franchise (don’t forget the one that came before everything, Soul Edge; that crappy Wii off-shoot doesn’t count, naturally), what is there left to do? After all, part 4 was the epitome of a series that had somewhat run of out steam. Sure being on a next gen platform was nice, but the brand new armor breaking system was seriously wonky, plus the look of the game itself was somewhat questionable. Basically, all the female characters looked like ladies of the night, if you catch my drift. Thankfully, the armor-breaking thing has been dialed back, and now we have some very Street Fighter-eseque super combos. Which is sure to piss off some longtime fans; to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the news either, but anything that’s different from before is welcome. Hence why Dead Or Alive-style, slated with multiple layers sounds great as well. Playing as many of the previous characters’ children reeks of Tekken 4, which totally sucked, but who knows? Part 5 might bring things back on track. Fingers crossed. PS3, Xbox 360
Okay, let’s not beat around the bush: FF13 is perhaps the worst entry in the series. Much has been said about the mind-numbingly liner environments and the incomprehensible plot, which aside from being even more confusing than your average FF, has nouns that were damn near impossible to utter in actual conversation. Add the fact that the last direct sequels for FF were a lame attempt at girl power sensibilities and an equally wretched CGI flick, there was zero interested in XIII-2, aside from diehard Square Enix fans, and even most of them were not pleased. Although, the follow-up does fix many of the problems from before. Many of the proper nouns are too goofy for their own good, but that’s about it. There’s much more to explore, the time traveling gimmick is handled surprisingly well, and signing up monster to join your group is kinda like in MegaTen games, and we all know how well it works on that end. Easily the biggest surprise hit of 2012! PS3, Xbox 360
Unlike the previous two entries, almost nothing is known about the third game on the list, which to be honest, is not a good sign. Could be a total clunker… or it could be a sleeper hit? It’s being helmed by a person who played significant roles in various Metal Gear Solid games, and that’s certainly a good sign at least. And it has music from Megadeth, which is of note to anyone who grew up listening to them like I did. Otherwise, a game in which you play some couple hundred plus year old demon hunter whose limbs keep falling off, and has to babysit some teen songstress has all the elements of a good time. At least one paper. Again, we’ll only really know once it finally arrives tomorrow. PS3, Xbox 360