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VIDEO GAMES OF SEPTEMBER 2013 Date: 09/02/2013 Views: 64.584
Summer may almost be over, but it's going out with a bang. September is jam-packed with games as the holiday rush starts rolling, and we've put together a list of all the AAA releases, indie treats, and DLC making a play for your virtual wallet over the next 30 days.
Behold, the brothers, mice, athletes, aliens, Hylians, and--of course--Rockstars of September 2013...
Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland
Developer Gust's 13th entry for the Atelier series is heading westward this month for the PS Vita. A port of the 2012 PS3 game, the game follows princess Meruru as she applies her alchemy skills to the betterment of the Arls kingdom and the Arland republic in which it resides. Gameplay will offer a blend of role-playing quests and all-out combat featuring Meruru alongside her mentor Totori and escort Rorona.
The PS Vita re-release will include new costumes and environments, fresh boss battles, and the ability to link up to March 2013's Altelier Torori: the Adventurer of Arland.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
The headliner for Xbox Live's 2013 Summer of Arcade is making its PlayStation Network debut. Developed by Starbreeze Studios, the adventure game sees players guiding two brothers through sun-soaked fantasy environments in their quest to obtain the â€œWater of Lifeâ€ for their ailing father. In so doing, players will control both siblings at the same time in order to solve puzzles, defeat beasts, and survive great peril.
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse HD
Mickey's 1990 classic is getting the HD treatment, gifting fans of the Sega Genesis original with a fresh take on the popular cartoon title. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse HD will return the Disney mascot to the aforementioned castle where he will face supernatural fiends and obstacles to rescue Minnie from the gnarled clutches of the witch Mizrabel.
Over and above a fresh coast of paint, Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse HD will recreate the game's levels in 2.5D and include a 3D hub world.
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate
Team Ninja presents this upgraded version of 2012's Dead or Alive 5. The fighting game will include features from PS Vita's Dead or Alive 5 Plus, such as a new training mode and Power Launcher gameplay feature; as well as tweaks to the Tag Mode and upwards of 231 unlockable costumes. In addition, players will have opportunity to step into the ring with five more characters, including Ninja Gaiden's Momiji and Rachel, Virtua Fighter's Jack Bryant, and DOA vets Leon and Ein.
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is also being tweaked for an arcade release, marking the series' return to Japanese arcade halls after nearly 13 years. The cabinet will be powered by Sega's RingEdge 2 hardware.
The gates of Sanctuary are opening to console adventurers for the first time in Diablo's history. Confirmed for arrival on PS3, Xbox 360, and even PS4 (at a later date) this port of Blizzard's action role-playing epic will let players adopt a custom persona and plunge into a top-down dungeon crawler filled with angels, demons, skeleton kings, and other dark horrors.
From what we saw at this year's E3, Diablo 3 might just be better on consoles than PC. It's a bold statement, sure, but given all the exclusive loot, refined gameplay, revamped skills, and fresh animations slated for its console arrival, there's reason to be optimistic.
From the studio who brought you Star Wars Pinball and Castle Storm comes this rhythmic fighter for Sony's handheld. Offering a fusion of martial arts fighting and beat-matching gameplay, Kickbeat will pit players in high-energy battles where their success will hinge on their ability to tap, twirl, and swipe along with the game's music.
Kickbeat's tracklist will feature music for every tastes, including beats from Marilyn Manson, Blue Stahli, and Taiwanese rapper Shen Yi. Players will also be given the tools to mix and match pre-loaded songs to create their own fighting soundtrack.
It's Rayman and his pals to the rescue (again) in the latest chapters of Ubisoft's richly animated platforming series. A direct sequel to 2011's Rayman Origins, Legends finds Rayman and chums awaking after a 100-year nap to discover the Bubble Dreamers have been busy reigning chaos and destruction upon the land. As such, it's up to Rayman, Globox, the Teensies, and newcomer Barbara to... well... you know the drill.
Rayman Legends was originally earmarked as a Wii U exclusive, but will now arrive for every current gen system. Murphy, who was designed to be controlled by the Wii U GamePad, will be reassigned to button prompts on PS3 and Xbox 360, while the Wii U and PS Vita will retain his touch-screen mechanics. Altogether, the game will employ a mix of platforming and rhythm-based action, and include remastered levels from Rayman Origins.
Total War: Rome II
The Total War franchise marches ahead in this strategy game that dares to ask, â€œWhat would you do as the leader of the world's first super power?â€ The answer: a lot, actually. Total War II: Rome puts players in command of a vast Roman army and sets them loose in massive-scale conflicts around the world ranging from naval and land battles, siege scenarios, river skirmishes, and encampment confrontations. Thankfully, virtually every aspect of one's empire can be customized and upgraded, from individual towns to unit stances and helpful technologies.
Sporting a new graphics engine and fully-loaded multiplayer options, Total War: Rome II seeks to super-size the Total War franchise on PC.
Red Barrels Games is out to shock the gaming scene with this survival horror download. Taking place in the mountains of Colorado, Outcast will subject players to the horrors of Mount Massive Asylum, a former sanctuary for the mentally ill that now plays host to the Murkoff Corporation and its top-secret projects. Is there more to Murkoff than meets the eye? Of course there is (haven't you played a survival horror game before?).
Red Barrels is comprised of veterans from the Prince of Persia, Assassin's Creed, and Splinter Cell franchises. Its debut game is on track for release on PS4 in 2014.
Elder Scrolls Anthology
Have a few years to kill and no real world commitments to uphold? You might want to consider this ultimate Elder Scrolls collection, which includes all five games in the series including Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim--along with all official expansions. What's more, you can plaster your room in Elder Scrolls lore with five physical maps for Tamriel, Lliac Bay, Morrowind, Cyrodiil, and Skyrim.
The anthology is available to PC owners exclusively, at least for the moment. Here's hoping Bethesda deems console champions worthy of this most bountiful loot.
Meet Arran Danner, an ex-UCA soldier who's thirst for action and a payday land him on both sides of the Helghast war. Taking place after the original Killzone, Mercenary will see Danner running with ISA and Helghast alike during an assignment for the Vektan Ambassador that--surprise, surprise--turns out to be be more than he bargained for.
A meaty single player campaign notwithstanding, Killzone: Mercenary's biggest draw it its multiplayer component which looks to be one of the most robust of its kind yet for the PS Vita (as current PS Vita owners may know having played the Beta). In it, players will have an opportunity to play as a Mercenary or Helghast fighter, while upgrading their weapons and equipment with the spoils of each match. Modes include the objective-based Warzone and the free-for-all Mercenary Warfare.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix
Sora, Mickey, and their Disney-fied compatriots return (well, kind of) in this HD remastered Kingdom Hearts collection from Square Enix. Released in Japan this March, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix will arrive out west with an HD remastered version of the first Kingdom Hearts (the Final Mix edition) and Re: Chain of Memories; along with trophy support for each.
Fans will also receive the theatrical version of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which cuts out the gameplay bits from the Nintendo DS spin-off and offers nearly three hours of remastered cinematics for your 'staring-at-a-handhold' pleasure.
EA Sports' tent pole hockey franchise returns to the ice with all new gameplay features, including NHL Collision Physics, an Enforcer Engine, and One Touch Dekes. Tweaks to goaltending, stick skills, and 2013's True Performance Skating will also be included, as will other bullet-point mechanics that will make the annual series worth picking up.
But who cares about all that? The real draw to NHL 14 is its NHL 94 Anniversary Mode which brings back the glory of the 1994 classic, complete with retro graphics, old-school controls, and a middle finger for hockey rules.
September 10 (cont'd)
Think you've had a traumatic childhood? Try being decapitated by an evil Moon Bear King and thrown out with the castle garbage. Such is the fate that befalls Kutaro, star of SCE Japan's Puppeteer, who finds himself reborn as a wooden puppet and forced to collect strange heads to find his way home and exact revenge. Luckily for Kutaro, he also has a set of magical scissors and a ghost cat to even the odds, but still, not a great way to spend your wonder years.
Swapping heads will form the bulk of the Puppeteer's gameplay, with each noggin allowing players to perform new abilities, suss out secrets, or face specific enemies. The environments will also adopt a 'puppet theater' vibe with levels transforming on the fly. Combined, The Puppeteer's dark tones and unique visuals make it one of the more innovative platformers we've seen, even if it cribs some of the style from LittleBigPlanet (not that it's a bad thing).
The Sims 3: Movie Stuff
Live the Hollywood dream in this add-on pack for the Sims 3. Movie Stuff will let players play make-believe with a host of new costumes, sets, and decor items. Features of the expansion include the ability to dress up as a superhero or supervillain and create your very own hideout, dabble in classic horror tropes, or pull on some chaps and recreate a a cliche Tinseltown westerns. Tons of items, furniture, and costumes will be available to play out both fantasies in full, along with loads of other creepy, heroic, and daring personalized items.
Movie Stuff is the ninth and final expansion for Sims 3. Prepare to do it all again in Sims 4, coming to PC and Mac in 2014.
WayForward Technologies' DuckTales remake is charting a course for the Xbox Live Marketplace this month. Already out for PS3 and PC, Ducktales Remastered sees Scrooge McDuck pogo-jumping his way through exotic locales in search of rare treasure. Fans of the 1990 NES original will find plenty to love in this upgraded version, including new levels and animated cinematics, as well as gameplay tweaks and challenge modes that will appeal to players of all ages.
We found DuckTales to be a retro revival done right.
Wade into your own military sandbox with the return of the ArmA franchise. Taking place in the not-so-distant future, Bohemia Interactive's open-world tactical shooter will drop players into the middle of the Aegean islands, where they will be forced to go 'lone wolf' after a botched NATO operation.
ArmA III has been available to players in demo forms since March 2013. As of August 2013, the studio claims it will launch this month with, â€œthe large open terrains of 'Altis' (270 km) and 'Stratis' (20 km), 12 singleplayer showcases, 3 faction showcases, 9 multiplayer scenarios, 10 firing drill challenges, more than 20 vehicles and 40 weapons, 5 factions, the scenario editor and modding supportâ€.
Empire: Total War Gold Edition
The extra shiny edition of Empire: Total War makes its way to Mac this September. Like the 2009 original, Empire: Total War gives strategist the chance to lead one of twelve nations into glory through real-time battles, high seas conflicts, and backroom politicking.
The Mac edition of Empire Total War: Gold Edition will storm the Apple shores with all available game updates and DLC, including the Warpath Campaign and its four unit packs, the Elite Units of the East, West, and America; and the Special Forces Units.
The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition
Fight for honor, freedom, and just for the hell of it in this steamy re-release of SNK Playmore's 2D fighter. Arriving for PCs via Valve's digital distribution service, The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition brings the entire console experience back for another round of animated mayhem, along with extras like new background stories, DLC characters, and other goodies.
The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition will introduce an enhanced online features, as well as three modes of online versus play: Ranked Match, Player Match, and Friend Match. The download will also include new profile customization options to take The King of Fighters XIII to the next level.
Legend of Dungeon
From the depths of Steam's Greenlight program comes this community-voted treasure for PC and Mac. Legend of Dungeon will see groups of four venturing into randomly generated dungeons in search of untold treasures, fancy loot, and tons of hats. With danger lurking around every corner, and the threat of permadeath hanging on every encounter, teammates will need to stick together and thwart evil if they hope to survive the game's 26 floors of danger.
Legend of Dungeon will employ a colorful retro-style and offer an experience described as an action-RPG beat'em'up with rogue-like elements. All said, it stands a good chance of being that indie game everyone will be bugging you to play.
The Wonderful 101
What's so wonderful about Platinum Games' The Wonderful 101? Well, according to critics in Europe, where it was released in August, the horde-based action game breathes some much needed life into Nintendo's latest console. That, and it comes from Viewtiful Joe and Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya--so at the very least it'll be a blast to play.
Taking some of its cues from the Pikmin series, The Wonderful 101 puts players in control of an army of superheroes who must band together (both figuratively and literally) to save the world from an alien race called the â€œGEATHJERKSâ€. Only by wielding â€œwonderâ€ heroes through the Wii U GamePad can players hope to clear the vast enemy threat. Armies can be made to attack in swarms or meld together to create larger (and more destructive) weapon forms. The game will also support a co-op mode, letting up to five players link in to the superhero antics.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 hits theaters this summer, and with it this video game tie-in for Nintendo's handheld systems. The title will include 15 chapters inspired by the film's main location, and include familiar characters plucked from the film's cast. Added power-ups and unlockables will add to the fun, as will developer GameMill Entertainment's promise of â€œCrazy Fun with Food.â€
Grand Theft Auto V
This is it. The big one. Even if Rockstar's next open-world opus isn't on your radar, good luck trying to last September without it being the main topic of every gaming conversation, podcast, article, and online interaction.
So what's the big deal? It's a Grand Theft Auto game that promises to be the largest, most content-rich chapter to date--which says a lot considering there's still many enjoying 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV. Also, for the first time in the series, gamers will experience the game through three playable protagonists: Michael, a retired bank robber; Trevor, a trailer-dwelling psychopath; and Franklin, a repo man in Venice beach. Each character will offer a difference perspective on life in Los Santos (Rockstar's version of Los Angeles), while together they'll join forces to orchestrate large-scale jobs.
And that's just scratching the service. With a massive online multiplayer component, hours of side missions and distractions, and a Los Santos that may take a lifetime to plunder, GTA V is easily one of the biggest releases in recent memory.
Hot Wheels: World's Best Driver
The thrill-seeking drivers of Team Red, Team Green, Team Blue, and Team Yellow collide in this collection of Hot Wheels branded racing challenges. From motorbikes to dragsters, and super-cars to demolition trucks, Hot Wheels: World's Best Driver will test players' aptitude for speed and destruction through dozens of challenges featuring the teams behind the upcoming live-action movie of the same name. Are you the world's best driver?
Probably not, but at least this game will help you pretend you are.
The BattleTech universe goes free-to-play in this online entry from Piranha Games. Slipping into BattleMechs, players will be given an opportunity to swear allegiance to one of the franchise's Great Houses and go to war against others in real-time mech combat. Time in MechWarrior Online will pass at the same rate as the real world, meaning one day within the game will be a full 24-hours in real life. Players can spend that time upgrading and customizing their vehicles, earning C-bills, and engaging in epic team battles.
The curtains are lifting on the 'greatest show on earth', and you're invited to take a front row seat. In Foul Play: The Perilous and ENTIRELY ACCURATE adventures of Baron Dashforth, players will take the lead role in a rousing stage show that will see them smashing and bashing their way through a Victorian-era adventure for the amusement of an interactive crowd. From the cobblestone alleys of London to the pyramids of Egypt, the show will pit 'actors' against an assortment of enemies both human and monster.
Foul Play will support two player co-op, and grant each combatant and ample number of weapons, moves, and costumes to make through the game to the final act.
Angry Birds Star Wars II
Rovio's superstar flyers are back with a sequel to their mega-popular Star Wars spin-off. Once again, Rovio and Lucasfilm will combine properties to offer an Angry Birds approach to the famous films, this time focusing on the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
Over 30 characters will be available to unlock, including Angry Birds versions of Mace Windu, Darth Maul, Jar Jar Binks and lil' Anakin Skywalker. Players will also have the option of scanning in Hasbro's line of Telepod Angry Birds characters to pad out the roster. In addition, Angry Birds Star Wars II will feature new powers and the chance to--ahem--â€Join the Pork Side.â€ Hey, they wrote it, not us.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Wii U owners will soon have access to a special eShop treat with the arrival of this updated take on The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Retrofitted with 1080p graphics and Miiverse integration, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD will adapt inventory and weapon controls for the Wii U GamePad as well as incorporate gameplay improvements designed to smooth over some of the original game's more tedious sequences. Specifically, players will able to purchase a 'Swift Sail' for faster boat travel; dig up treasure with a shorter crane; and enjoy a more streamlined version of the late-game Triforce Quest. Nintendo's remake will also adopt the Hero Mode from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword to create a new challenge for Wind Waker veterans.
Wind Waker HD is included free with the purchase of The Wind Waker HD Wii U Bundle, which will ship September 20th with a download voucher for The Wind Waker HD, a black Deluxe Wii U console, a digital copy of Hyrule Historia, and a GamePad controller decorated with a gold Hyrule Crest. A boxed version will also hit shelves on October 4--the same day the eShop download will be made available for Europe.
City Interactive introduces a tale of alien warfare, intergalactic conflict, and the trials and tribulations of mankind's last hope in this self-described old school shooter. Alien Rage tasks players with defending a rare material from alien hordes inside a planetary mining facility. Failure to defend said material will naturally lead to the end of all mankind. So, you know, stay sharp.
Alien Rage will arrive as a digital download, bringing 14 levels of trigger-happy action, loads of enemies, 'beastly-sized bosses', and a reward system based on each player's proficiency in combat.
The next iteration of EA's hugely popular soccer franchise makes its way to shelves this September. Improvements to the series include the addition of Pure Shot, a mechanic allowing players to better manage their kicking approach; Precision Movement, an improvement to ball control; enhanced ball physics; and better teammate and opponent AI.
FIFA 14 will also feature the Ultimate Team, but only for Xbox One. With it, Xbox players will have access to 40 'legendary' soccer players from which to craft the ultimate team. Fans will be able to collect-'em-all by buying Gold Packs through FIFA 14's transfer market, after which they can customize their legends and witness their greatness on the field. If you'd rather wait till next-gen, a copy of FIFA 14 will ship free with all pre-orders of Xbox One in Europe. No word yet if a similar deal will be struck for footy fans in the west.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014
Konami's own soccer franchise takes the pitch this month, giving EA's FIFA 14 a run/deke/rush for its money. Sporting a augmented version of Kojima Production's Fox Engine, this year's version will introduce a number of enhancements including Trueball Tech, which should improve upon many ball control physics; a new Combination Play mechanic, which will allow players to organize various tactics using groups of three or more players; and numerous visual and audio enhancements.
PES 2014 will also see the return of the Player ID system, which authentically translates the specific styles of real soccer stars into the game. This time, however, the Player ID will be applied to more superstars and entire teams.
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
How many superheroes can be crammed into one game? We'll soon know for sure when 5th Cell releases its hero-packed sequel to the Scribblenauts franchise. At last check, the studio was boasting the game will feature 2000 characters from the DC Universe, including everyone from famous names like Batman and Superman to obscurities like Bloodwynd and Matter-Eater Lad. Each can be written into the game by Scribblenauts hero Maxwell to help solve various puzzles, and all can be modified with adjectives to create unique superhero variants of their own. Super Batman anyone? How about Zombie Wonder-Woman?
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure sounds like a massive undertaking to say the least, but if it all works out well, this could be an absolute must have for comic fans.
Valhalla Knights 3
From publisher Xseed Games comes this North American port of Valhalla Knights 3 for the PS Vita. In it, brave warriors will choose from seven character races (Human, Dwarf, Beast, Nightmare, Elf, Machine, and Hobbit) and seven character classes (Fighter, Mage, Priest, Thief, Akatoki, Archer, and Prisoner) and take to the battlefield in active, seven-on-seven player battles. When not winning points in the arena, players can spend their hard earned spoils on female party members, which they can recruit in the game's 'red light district'. Classy.
Valhalla Knights will ship out west with a sizable online multiplayer component, enabling PS Vita owners the chance to go out on their treasure hunting quest alone or with friends.
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+
2010's Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is getting a new home and an added â€œ+â€ on Steam. The enhanced version will feature four new boards, including Big Eater Course, Mountain Course, and Championship III & Highway II Courses; new soundtracks; and new skin packs borrowing styles from the classic Rally-X and Dig Dug games and the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures cartoon series.
Adding to the pellet-gobbling fun, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ will arrive with enhanced leaderboard functionality and customization additions.
Ever dream about being a globe-trotting adventurer, but can't get time of work/school/jail to see it happen? Introducing: Deadfall Adventures, a first-person action game from The Farm 51 devs that simulates the life of a treasure-seeking, globe-hopping, danger-loving rogue minus the hassles of leaving your couch.
Set in 1938, the game stars James Lee Quartermain, a career adventure who must brave ancient evils, deadly puzzles, and Nazis and Russians to find The Heart and--hopefully--save the world in so doing. Over and above a single-player campaign, players will have the chance to partake in an adventure-style multiplayer.
Rise of Venice
Live like a Venetian prince (and/or pauper) in this rags-to-riches strategy title from Kalypso Media Digital. Set amid the Renaissance period, Rise of Venice will see players playing the role of a young man with big dreams, who must build relationships with outlying cities and navigate the ranks of Venetian politics to become the Doge of Venice.
Rise of Venice will feature a wealth of things to do, including engaging in ship battles, trade negotiations, empire building, and socializing. It'll all be tied together with a storyline following players' rise to power, but include a multiplayer mode for those who just want to get to the backstabbing.