By Jared Cornelius
Last week I officially declared the start of the fall games season with the release of Bungie Studio's Destiny and while the calendar is still chalked full of huge and interesting titles this month, this week is more of a bye-week for games releases. I'm sure no other publisher wanted to get in the way of Activision's latest money making juggernaut and compete with a $500 million dollar game with major marketing on Monday Night Football for a sales race they would no doubt lose. Instead publisher seemed content to release more niche favorites with some cult handheld titles, anime games, and some interesting indie games taking top billing this week.
My love of Metroid-Vania titles led me to take a look at developer Fledermaus' side scrolling adventure game The Waste Land. Loosely based around the T.S. Elliot poem of the same name, The Waste Land places you in the role of King Zyron III whose actions have transformed the land and unleashed a horrible evil that only he can stop. Metroid-Vania titles at heart are about exploration and role playing game style upgrades with The Waste Land boasting "vast maps across 7 continents" and a series of unique weapons, secrets, and upgrades. With a classic 2D pixel art style that would've looked right at home on an NES, Fledermaus clearly has a passion for classic games with nods to Simon's Quest and Link's Adventure. The Waste Land releases Tuesday on Steam.
The indie game community has been the place for strange and experimental concepts, but perhaps the strangest is developer No Goblin's Roundabout. In what amounts to an isometric, open-world, puzzle game players pick up clients and drive them across the town of Roundabout in an ever rotating limousine. Players will need to navigate the city streets in time with the limo's rotation to maximize their use of time and rack up high scores. Roundabout continues it's ridiculous cheese factor with a presentation aping 70's cinema complete with full motion video cut scenes telling the story of Georgio Manos, "The world's most famous revolving limousine driver."
Roundabout is rounded out with a series of upgradable items, hidden collectables, as well as speed-run and big head modes! Roundabout's ridiculous premise and attitude are reflected in both visuals and presentation that also drips with loving cheese and schlock that you don't see from too many games. Roundabout released Tuesday on Steam.
If you own a Final Fantasy soundtrack you're going to want to check out Square Enix's Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call. The prosperously named title takes you through some of the series epic battles and favorite musical arrangements played out with rhythm game mechanics and tiny stylized Final Fantasy characters. Curtain Call purports to have over 200 pieces of music and over 60 characters from the series long and storied history. Additionally it includes several different play modes including Quest, Battle, and the new Verses mode round out an eclectic take on the role playing and rhythm genres. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call was released on the Nintendo 3/2DS on Tuesday.
While we're on the subject of bizarre handheld titles, another cult favorite makes it's return this week with Cooking Mama 5 Bon Appetit! from Majesco. The realistic cooking simulator tasks you with virtual cooking and works off real life skills that has you doing everything from tenderizing meat to slicing veggies and grilling. With a cute veneer that has you taking instruction from the titular Cooking Mama while unlocking new recipes and mini-games for successful meals. Bon Appetit! adds over sixty real recipes that are easily recreated after in game training, Cooking Mama could help you learn to cook for real! The cooking simulator is fondly remembered from the original DS and was famous for helping publisher Majesco avoid bankruptcy after the disastrous Advent Rising. Cooking Mama 5 Bon Appietit! is available Tuesday for the Nintendo 3/2DS.
In this week in anime titles we have Bandai Namco's Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution. The long running fighting series based on the longer running manga series from Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine is in its 11th console iteration and looking to send last generation off in style. The fighting game series first made its debut in Japan in 2003 and hit North American PlayStation 2's in 2006 with only 14 character but that's not much of an issue now with Revolution boasting of over 100 playable characters from the series in beautiful 2/3D cel-shaded art. I've been led to believe that developer CyberConnect2 has done a consistently good job with the series and even if anime scrolls and headbands aren't your thing, the series flashy graphics and mechanics may be worth a look for fighting game enthusiasts. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution is a mouthful and released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Steam Tuesday.
That's it for this week, as for me you can always find me on Twitter @John_Laryngitis where I'm cracking wise about Randy Newman. I also have another regular column, Typing on The Dead: Bleeding Cool's Walking Dead recap column which just got updated last week. There's also my preview of Crypt of The NecroDancer from Brace Yourself Games which I'm loving as well as my interview with brother sister writing duo Sam and Sara Ellis who did last month's Adventure Time backup. So until next time click those links and Stay Gold!
Jared Cornelius is some guy from New Jersey's coast who had an anime wall scroll once. If you'd like to discuss the embarrassing things you had in your room contact him @John_Laryngitis on Twitter.