Sweet Release! Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, J-Stars Victory Vs+, BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma Extend, Hyperdimension Neptunia

By Jared Cornelius

Welcome back to Sweet Release, Bleeding Cool's weekly look at the new video games on store shelves.  With the dust from E3 finally settled and the juggernaut of Batman Arkham Knight out of the way it looks like we can settle into the usual summer slow burn.  Traditionally game companies seem to use the summer as a dumping ground for niche titles and minor games they want out of the way before the onslaught of fall releases brings us triple A games every week.  So in service of our small game summer kickoff, let's start with a game that came out over 10 years ago.
GTASAIf the massive sprawling world of Grand Theft Auto V wasn't enough for you, Rockstar Games will be releasing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas this week.  The original California based GTA was heavily influenced by hot button issues surrounding Los Angeles in the early to mid-nineties and was a not only a huge hit for Rockstar, but also created huge controversy as well.  Originally released in 2004, the 3rd person open world action game touted the largest area for the series at the time, as well as introduced role playing game elements for your character CJ.  The release of San Andreas isn't actually a "new" thing as it's been available on SteamPlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 for some time, but this Tuesday marks the game getting a proper boxed copy release for the first time in years.  Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is available on the Xbox 360 on Tuesday, and is currently available on all the previously listed platforms.
BLAZBLUEIt's a Japanese kind of week as we have not one but two very, very eastern fighting games.  Our first is the more traditional of the two, BlazBlue Chrono Phantasm Extend.  The first new generation BlazBlue game from prolific 2D fighting studio Arc System Works.  Although it's more of an update than a true sequel, Phantasm Extend features 28 fighters, with new stages and two new characters.  It will also have cross compatible play with the last generation versions as well as some additional and remixed modes.  Its blazing fast, has a near incomprehensible story, and will likely get a true next generation sequel sometime next year, but these games are always reliable for a visual spectacle.  BlazBlue Chrono Phantasm Extend releases Tuesday on PlayStation 3PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on Tuesday.
JSTARSOur second very Japanese fighting game, J-Stars Victory Vs +, is straight out of one of their most popular pieces of media, Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine.  One of the longest running boy's themed tankobon, (Japanese for big comic book) Jump has published some of Japan's most successful franchises including Dragon Ball ZNarutoDr. Slump, and Bleach.  The 3rd person fighting game is closer to an arena battler than a true 3D fighting game, with players having to battle it out with up to four players across a semi open battle arena.  This being a game based around a manga anthology series the story is patched together with insanity and fan fiction.  On the up side, players have a ton of characters to choose from including Goku, Naruto, Monkey D. Luffy, and 36 more.  The total character count is somewhere around 53 but that also includes non-playable summon characters.  While Jump games have been made in Japan for some time, this is the first official game to hit the US shores making it an interesting curiosity if nothing else.  J-Stars Victory Vs + is released Tuesday for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
HYPERFinally this week we end on yet another bizarre Japanese game that inexplicably has had a number of sequels.  Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation is the latest in a strange line of Japanese role playing games from !dea Factory.  The series basic premise is that a bunch of pretty anime girls are stand-ins for video game systems.  There's a Sega Genesis girl, a Nintendo Girl, and so on.  Re;Birth isn't actually a new game either, but rather a re-mastered version of the PlayStation 3 release with some new features including some form of co-op gameplay.  Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation released Tuesday on PlayStation Vita.

That's all for this week folks, you can find me on Twitter @John_Laryngitis.  Check out my other regular column, Typing on The Dead, where I review and recap the latest issue of The Walking Dead.  I also recently wrote an article called The Torture Rack, where I review a terrible comic for your amusement.

Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who's hurting from exercise.  Send workout tips on Twitter @John_Laryngitis.

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About Jared Cornelius

A miserable little pile of secrets...also a writer, definitely not an android
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