By Jared Cornelius
Welcome back to Sweet Release! Bleeding Cool's weekly check in with the new video games on literal and digital store shelves. This week's calendar is definitely aiming for niche audiences with the two biggest releases being rather polarizing. One title is a modern day classic with a huge fan base, the other is a spiritual successor to a last generation success story on PC. I'd say both titles will make fans of certain genres jump for joy, but I'd also wager that both games will have vocal detractors because of game mechanics. That being said, let's jump in with the first big Nintendo release of the year.
Nintendo is doing what they do best this week, releasing a beloved favorite from their back catalog with a few new bells and whistles. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D is the latest game to get Nintendo's N64 to 3DS re-release treatment. Another in the long line of high fantasy, action adventure puzzle games, Majora's Mask takes the 3D elements of its predecessor, Ocarina of Time, and adds a restricted three day mechanic in which to finish the game. The time limit can be subverted by going backward and forward, as well as slowing down or speeding up times passage. Certain aspects of the game will persist if you reach the games three day limit, while other story and character beats revert when the traveling back in time. The N64 favorite was divisive during its initial release, turning off some fans with the stress of the time mechanic, but others cheered the game for its "rogue-like" elements. The new versions included a few tweaks, including a slight visual overhaul, improved puzzles, and a friendlier save system. The game also has added functionality with Nintendo's new iteration of the 3DS system like direct camera control. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D releases Friday exclusively on Nintendo 3/2DS.
Cooperative shooting lives again with Evolve from 2K Games. The four player first person cooperative shooter pits four human characters with individual classes against a player controlled monster in a Predator styled fight for survival. The human characters are weak individually, but when working as a cohesive unit are a formidable force. The monster is more powerful, but needs to "evolve" during the game to continue its supremacy over the human characters. It's a push and pull that should satisfy hardcore gamers with a dedicated shooter clan. With some Call of Duty style perks and character customization, Evolve does add some personality to the game that a lot of squad based shooters lack. The four player shooter mechanic is nothing new to the developers, Turtle Rock Studios, who made Valves last generation hit, Left 4 Dead. They've got a great pedigree, but have hit a couple speed bumps on their way to release with some post-launch downloadable content kerfuffle. Much like Left 4 Dead, this is definitely going to be a game you need friends to play with, so all you friendless gamers like myself might avoid this title for now. Evolve released Tuesday on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
I'm a big fan of retro styled platfomers and a really cool looking one slipped through the cracks last week, so I'm here to make good. Castle In The Darkness is an 8 bit pixelated platformer from Matt Kap, who you might know from the recently released Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. Taking cues from some of the 80's best, Castle In The Darkness mixes fast paced 2D platforming and combat somewhere between Castlevania and Link's Adventure. CITD takes that and mixes it up with some screen filling Mega Man II style bosses, light RPG elements, and over 100 weapons and items to find. With a rocking chip-tune soundtrack, and a ton of subtle nods to the NES era Castle looks like a fun throwback. Castle In the Darkness is currently available on Steam.
A huge hit in Japan, and a quiet fart in the US, Capcom is releasing another iteration of their loot driven semi-MMO, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The massive multiplayer online styled action game has players choose a class and hunt huge monsters, to make better gear and hunt more monsters. There's not much of a story, its more about the interactions between players and the quest for better stuff. This version has two new character classes, boasts of more vertical environments, and the ability to jump on monsters backs. In short, it's more Monster Hunter. It falls into the "you know if you like this" category of game and is something of a spiritual successor to Phantasy Star. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate releases Friday on Nintendo 3/2DS.
That's all the new games for this week, but you can check out my other regular column, Typing on The Dead, which gets a fresh installment this week. You should also go check out some of Bleeding Cool's other weekly content, like The Geek Shopping Ninja Strikes by our very own Christine Marie. Until next time, stay gold.
Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who's re-reading a bunch of 90's comics. Tell him your favorite lousy 90's comic on Twitter @John_Laryngitis.