The drought is over
It‚Äôs been a lean couple of months for most, with the big publishers taking a break from an oftentimes hectic release schedule, and very little has been trickling through to retail as a result. But no more; August has a bunch of big-name products dropping; as if they‚Äôre trying to avoid something that‚Äôs coming in September‚Ä¶ hmm‚Ä¶ what could that be‚Ä¶
In order, then, the list:
Yep, a new version of the Xbox 360. Announced at E3, this new design makes Microsoft‚Äôs aging console look a little bit like the upcoming Xbox One. Priced at $399 (just like the old version) and rocking a 250GB HDD, it will replace what we now know as the ‚ÄúSlim‚ÄĚ when it releases next week.
PC users finally get a chance (at retail, anyway) to try their hand at NetherRealm‚Äôs excellent Mortal Kombat reboot. The Komplete Edition includes all previously released DLC for the game (four characters, a bunch of skins, and some retro fatalities), and all at a budget price (around $40.)
The latest in the ‚ÄúTales‚ÄĚ series, Xillia once again features the popular Linear Motion Battle System the series is renowned for. If you‚Äôre keen on this one, pre-ordering is recommended; it‚Äôs the only way to get the limited edition, which includes fancy packaging and an art book, and will (if history repeats itself) be very hard to get after release.
The latest addition to EA‚Äôs ever-expanding dollhouse simulation, Dragon Valley adds a bunch of new objects and items for your virtual people to interact with ‚Äď including (perhaps obviously) actual dragons, which you can tame and play with.
PS3, 360, PC
The next iteration in the breakout hit franchise sees players once again joining up in a cooperative, high stakes game of cops and robbers. There‚Äôs loot, multi-stage "jobs" (criminal activities of all varieties), and loads of customizable clothing options so you can look good while you pillage.
If you‚Äôve been holding off buying into Nintendo‚Äôs outstanding new handheld ecosystem due to the total absence (in New Zealand, anyway) of a simple white coloured console (outside of the Mario Kart 7 bundle), you‚Äôre in luck (or will be, on the 15th.) It‚Äôs otherwise identical to the other XL options out there, and plays all the 3DS, DS, and DSi software that they do.
A highly stylized, side-scrolling, brawler-like action-RPG, Dragon‚Äôs Crown has tongues wagging for all sorts of reasons. Some are excited because it‚Äôs Vanillaware, some because it looks like a blast. Others are upset about the way it portrays women (as objects, essentially), which is much less acceptable today than even a few years ago. We‚Äôll get to find out if it‚Äôs worthy of any kind of attention whatsoever when it hits in a couple of weeks. PS3 & Vita, it‚Äôs neither cross-play nor cross-buy, however it does support cross-save ‚Äď should you happen to buy both versions.
360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, 3DS
Disney‚Äôs play at the Skylanders cash cow, Infinity merges physical toys with videogame play ‚Äď albeit with famous Disney franchises in place of Skylanders. They‚Äôre making a big investment in the game, with solid production and loads of toys releasing alongside the game. Will it pay off? We‚Äôll be keeping a close eye on it, and in the way Activision respond with the next Skylanders game (SWAP Force) later this year.
360, PS3, PC
The irreverent open-world shooter that‚Äôs banned in Australia (twice ‚Äď even now that there‚Äôs an R18+ rating in the country) is bringing its outlandish blend of shooting, super powers, and aliens to gamers everywhere in just three weeks‚Äô time. If you like having fun and don‚Äôt mind crude jokes, chances are pretty good you‚Äôre as excited about this one as we are.
PC, 360, Wii U, PS3
After a long hiatus, the Clancy-inspired super soldier is back and ‚Äď if it plays anything like it looks ‚Äď that‚Äôs something to be very excited about indeed. Terrorists have banded together and are taking out a list of high-profile targets; it‚Äôs up to you to stop ‚Äėem. If you‚Äôre keen to help out, there‚Äôs a couple of different versions of the game, including one that comes with an actual watch.
360, PS3, PC
If you like games that are good, you really need to be paying attention to this. A strategy third person shooter, the combat resembles that found in Mass Effect; strategically position and instruct your team as they use weapons and sci-fi magic to take down the invading alien forces. A shooter version of the hit strategy game, we were very impressed when we played it recently. It‚Äôs on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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