By Jared Cornelius
Now that we've all adjusted to a lack of free time and return of responsibilities, the Fall game calendar looks to be back at full strength and then some. After a few weeks of niche detours thanks to Destiny, publishers look like their ready to jump back into releasing their big games and this week we have, arguably, two of the biggest. A ton of smaller titles also released this week with a selection that ranges from wacky to dour, as well as the world's most popular sport, and two weird fighting games.
This week you'll no doubt hear both joyous shouts and cries of poverty thanks to Disney Infinity 2.0. The 3rd person action adventure game follows the, "Toys-to-Life" gimmick that's become popular thanks to Activision's Skylanders franchise. Players place an action figure on a base that reads a chip in the figure and unlocks them for use in the video game. The physical toys have a signature Disney cartoon style with 2.0's main focus on the Marvel Universe. The starter set contains the game and base and includes Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow figures with additional figures like Venom and Nick Fury available separately.
More levels including Guardians of The Galaxy and Spider-Man themed sets are also sold separately and unlock additional content in the main game. Disney's main focus in the initial run of figures is based on the popular Marvel line of movies but other Disney favorites like Aladdin, Peter Pan and Stitch will have figures available as well. Players can also create their own mashed up world with the Toy Box mode where items and levels unlocked in the game can be used to create unique levels, playgrounds, and gauntlets along with individualized races, missions and game modes. I'm actually really interested and as a lifelong Marvel Zombie, the stylized cartoon Marvel figures have me salivating, but buyer beware as the figures cost around $14 dollars each, with play sets going for around $30. The first generation of Disney Infinity toys are also compatible with 2.0. Disney Infinity 2.0 is released Tuesday for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U.
A few weeks ago I talked about the hack and slash madness of Koei's Warriors series and it's back again this week with a decidedly Nintendo twist. Hyrule Warriors is the Legend of Zelda focused 3rd person hack and slash game from Omega Force and Team Ninja in conjunction with Nintendo. Not focusing on the puzzle solving and exploration the series is known for, Hyrule Warriors is all about 3rd person hack and slash combat through wave after wave of classic Legend of Zelda enemies while completing objectives in the levels sprawling environments. With a huge cast that includes Link, Zelda, and Gannondorf as well as a ton of female focused fighters from the series history. Over the top super moves and high definition Hyrule environments go hand and hand with the games various modes including couch co-op, adventure and story. Hyrule Warriors is an interesting step away from the series typical formula and who knows if successful may open the door for other cool Nintendo crossovers. Hyrule Warriors is available Friday for the Wii U.
Bleak and apocalyptic games normally take place in a wasteland or a bombed out city, but Hinterland Studio's The Long Dark wants to take players in a different direction. The first person survival simulator takes place in a quiet post-apocalyptic northern wilderness where food, water, and shelter aren't your only concern. Players are thrust into the role of Will Mackenzie a former pilot who's trying to survive in the wilds after a geomagnetic shift has caused catastrophic weather anomalies. The open world adventure game tasks players with surviving as long as they can under the harsh conditions of the frozen terrain, but beware as other people are out there surviving as well and may go to great lengths to keep themselves alive. The Long Dark even throws health concerns at you Oregon Trail style like blood loss, dysentery, and hypothermia so it seems Hinterland is striving for realism. Developed by former Volition, Relic, and Bioware employees, The Long Dark has a great pedigree behind it and a unique and dower premise. The Long Dark released on Steam Early Access Monday, so keep in mind the game is a work in progress.
It slipped through the cracks last week with a late release, but if you're a fan of isometric strategy game you owe it to yourself to check out Harebrained Scheme's revival of Shadowrun, specifically with the release of the standalone expansion, Shadowrun Dragonfall: Director's Cut. The cyberpunk role playing game was revived with a popular Kickstarter a few years ago and found critical praise going back to the series strategy roots with a heavily noir influenced story and turn based tactics. Shadowrun Dragonfall adds a ton of new content including story missions, music, endings, customization, and interface tweaks. You'll also get the Shadowrun editor that allow you to craft your own story and missions with Harebrained Schemes purporting you won't need to know, "advanced coding or art skills" to take advantage of it. Shadowrun Dragonfall: Director's Cut released on Steam last week and if you've already purchased Dragonfall there's no need to buy the director's cut as it upgrades automatically in your Steam library.
Looking for a game that'll satisfy both your love of science and cats? Developer Italic Pig may have the answer with quirky science based platformer, Schrodinger's Cat And The Raiders of The Lost Quark. After being subjected scientific tests and theories Schrodinger's cat is transported to a subatomic universe where he'll have to escape the strange theme park, "The Particle Zoo". With challenging platforming, a colorful and stylized astatic, and a series of quark based powers, Raiders of The Lost Quark may be the answer for those looking for a challenge. Schrodinger's Cat And The Raiders of The Lost Quark released Tuesday on Steam.
If you're too young to know where the "wizard needs food badly" meme came from you can find out what it's all about thank to Warner Bros. Games bringing back Gauntlet. The classic Midway co-op dungeon crawler was purchased by WB a few years back and is seeing its first proper release since the lackluster Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows in 2005. The isometric hack and slash has you select from four character classes and throws wave after wave of skeletons, undead, and other dungeon dwellers into your ever swinging sword or volley of arrows. The real allure of this version is it was developed by Arrowhead Games, makers of the popular co-op wizard based dungeon crawler Magicka. Gauntlet released Tuesday on Steam.
The 90's were a really weird time for the fighting game genre. After the success of Street Fighter II it seemed like every company on the face of the Earth wanted a piece of the action and Rare was no different with their Killer Instinct franchise. After being revived last year by Microsoft the now 20 year old series that was famous for its incredibly loud announcer and super long combos is getting a boxed copy release on the Xbox One. Dubbed the Combo Breaker Pack, it includes all the season one content as well as a download for fighter TJ Combo from season two. Word on the street is it's the best version of the series and you're wearing the rose colored glasses of nostalgia if you think otherwise. Killer Instinct Combo Breaker Pack released at retail Tuesday and is also available for download on Xbox One.
FIFA mania swept the country this summer and now you can dedicate hours of your life to EA's latest iteration of the soccer sim. With some next generation upgrades like better goal tending and team management to go along with their cash grabbing Ultimate Team system that caused to ton of problems with stolen log-ins last generation. FIFA 15 is available Tuesday on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo 3/2DS.
If you love the combo of hardcore 2D fighting games and scantily clad anime girls Aksys Games is releasing Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! The main hook of the fighting game is an elemental combo system that has you choosing a fighter and an arcana for a purported 529 combinations for your fighter. There's some nonsense story about maidens communicating with the elemental world and the end of life as we know it, but what we do know is fighting game stories are weird to begin with and this one doesn't seem any different. LOVE MAX!!!!! features the usual slate of modes found in fighting games like story, time attack, versus, and practice. Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! is available for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on Tuesday. (It's so good it needs 5 exclamation points.)
Wow, I think that might be the most new releases I've ever covered in one shot! It's seriously a great week for games with something on every system across a huge spectrum of styles to satisfy almost any gamer's tastes. I'm unreasonably excited for Disney Infinity 2.0, The Long Dark, and Hyrule Warriors but I'm not sure where I'll find the time to play all of them. I'd also recommend Shadowrun Dragonfall, it's a really great game that doesn't take a beast of a PC to run. You can find me on Twitter @John_Laryngitis where I'll tell you about what action figures I'll be buying this week, as well as my other regular column, Typing on The Dead: Bleeding Cool's Walking Dead recap. Until next time, Stay Gold!
Jared Cornelius is some guy from New Jersey's coast who'll be buying too many toys this week. If you'd like to let him know what you'll be buying, contact him on Twitter @John_Laryngitis