So “Coming Up” is back! We’ve had a couple of months off due to, well life, but now instead of trying to bring you one massive monthly update, we’re going to cut it down to some nice weekly chunks, and with all the new consoles coming out now in a matter of weeks now, we’re going to have ALOT to talk about! And hopefully give us the chance to discuss more in depth the big releases, so you can buy your next game with confidence.
So pull yourself away from GTAV , and let’s get started!!
Batman Arkham Origins (Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Wii U) starts off this weeks game releases with a bang, and easily this weeks biggest release. A prequel to the Batman: Arkham franchise, Origins has been brought to us by Warner Bros. Games Montreal, unlike its predecessors Arkham Asylum and Arkham City which were produced by Rocksteady Studios. This news perturbed many gamers, but Rocksteady were confident that passing on the torch was was the right move, and what do the reviews say?
Batman Arkham Origins still has a great combat system, a great origins narrative, all in a great open world with enough references and ‘bat-moments’ to keep any Batman fan happy…. I’ve used the word “great” a lot I know, and for a reason… By all accounts this a solid, fun and good addition to the franchise, but it does apparently retread a lot of old ground, no surprises, no shiney new graphics all with a touch of slight déjà vu…. Like a good cover song, not better than the original, just a great addition.
But all that been said, for fans of the franchise, this is a good addition and worthy of a purchase, especially if you are a lucky UK resident that has ordered the exclusive collectors edition from Amazon, which comes with in addition to the game, an 80 page art book, metal game case, the Deathstroke Challenge Pack, and a ‘1st appearance’ Batman skin, plus an 8 page dossier with information on the assassins hunting Batman…. But the real treat, a 12″ statue of Batman and The Joker…. Oooo we do love a good box set!!
Just Dance Kids 2014 (Xbox 360/Wii/Wii U) is next to join the party, with a kid friendly 30+ song list, including acts like One Direction…. It should go down well with all 12 and under girls! The WiiU also comes with the Dance Director Mode, in which the game pad player can surprise dance move suggestions on the other players in the middle of the songs. A bit less exciting is the Parents Corner function to put the parents in control, with fitness tracking, custom playlists and calories tracker…. Time to break out the hair brushes!
Now let’s try to get our tongues round this mouthful…. Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst (Xbox 360/PS3/PC). Now the none Full Burst landed earlier this year, so what’s different about this version? It’s basically an upgrade, with a new story mode chapter, new character, 100 new challenge missions and dlc costumes. With some stunning cel-shaded visuals to recreate the Naruto world, fans of the show will eat this up… Well if you haven’t already picked up Storm 3, because Full Burst doesn’t otherwise have much new to show…
Next a unusual new release for the rhythm game genre Rocksmith 2014 (Xbox 360/PS3/PC), an update on its predecessor, Rocksmith combines the Guitar Hero like interface with a full scale proper guitar, so no need to dust off those plastic relics no doubt in your attic. It’s note recognition technology allow you to do technical lessons, chord charts, song and guitarcade mini games, plus a new mission mode in which you decide how to progress, letting you perfect certain solos. There is even a session mode for you to explore and create with your new skills, all in all, this is an aide in guitar practice, but it has a ceiling in how much it can really teach you.
Now, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Xbox 360/Wii/3DS) this made the child inside me excited when I heard about this, in fact it was a Lets Play from those lovely Achievement Hunter guys, but the thoughts I had then, were definitely wide spread. Glitches all over the place and an unruly camera made the action hard to follow, and I spent half my time squinting at the tv because I couldn’t tell which character was which, cause it was just so dark! Don’t get me wrong, they have clearly thought out and well executed the characters, each with unique moves and cheesy on liners; and with a combat system alike to the Batman Arkham series, this could have been brilliant… It’s just a shame the game play and production just isn’t up to scratch!
And so we will move on, next up is The Guided Fate Paradox (PS3)… Now I’ll be honest I still don’t think I quite get the narrative of this game! your a god, and you have to make wishes come true with the help of a machine, by battling monsters….? I think that’s it… Basically this game is a tactical JRPG dungeon crawler, which by all accounts it does well! But the preachy religious confusion vibe I get from this game, just isn’t for me.
And then last up for today is Wii Party U (Wii U), trying to score another point with the casual gamers and families, this game aims to do pretty much the same as it’s predecessor, a mini game collection for all the family to join in together. I all honesty, most of the games sound dull, unimaginative and just plain boring, with as much interaction as rolling virtual dice… If Nintendo were hoping this would turn around the WiiU’s fortunes, they have been woefully mislead.
Now for all of us mobile gamers out there, Angry Birds Star Wars (Xbox 360/PS3/Wii/3DS/Wii U/Vita) came out last year on iOS and Android, but now it’s available on nearly every console you can think of as of Tuesday. (I really don’t think I need to explain Angry Birds)
The only other release for the 29th though is a big one…. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360/PS3 ). Now this is more like it! An earlier release for the 360 and PS3 makes me very happy (Assassins Creed IV comes out on XboxOne and PS4 at launch next month), quite simply I love this franchise and I wasn’t willing to wait until we could afford a next gen console to play it! So off we will go to the Caribbean, pirates and assassins for more of what we know from this franchise, with more of the popular sailing aspect from the previous game, and hopefully a better character in Edward Kenway, I am quite looking forward to this one. Yes, obviously it’s not going to blow us all away with stuff we haven’t seen before, it’s a tried and tested franchise on a generation of consoles they have already pushed to the max, but for the fans, it’s more of what we want.
The big question is, is it worth waiting for on the new consoles? The next gen’s will have more dynamic environments, and a whole more natural feel, which I’m sure will blow me away when I see it… But will I notice it when I’m neck deep in battle? Ubisoft have tried hard to ensure they didn’t end up with two different games, trying to put any new gen console discoveries into the current gen as well…. That I’m not sure that it will really matter which edition you go for, one will just be a little bit prettier….
And then lastly for this week of game releases, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection (Xbox 360/PS3) re-release comes out on Thursday ahead of Lords of Shadow 2 due out in Febuary. The collection includes Lords of Shadow, plus the Reverie and Resurrectiom DLC, and Mirror of Fate HD which was originally only on the 3DS, and of cause a demo for LoS2 to whet your appetite.
So thats it for this week, but while you wait for more from us, why not listen to this weeks 3 Legged Sofa podcast? Ta ta for now!